D. Gary Davis
For Tuesday 12/22/2015
I was once taught that a child at first must learn to read and then later in life this same child reads to learn. The Christmas story is one such account that even years after reading it for the first time, it is not only enjoyable, but knowledge and even wisdom is gained from each word that finds its way into our mind and then our heart.
Last week, I mentioned that there are many in our community who may find it difficult to find a reason to "be of good cheer”. This is, in fact a part of human nature as it is impossible to remain cheerful at all times. But when one comes to understand this fact, there is also the reverse that is true as well, that it is impossible to remain depressed at all times. And this is where I found myself in the Christmas script for this season.
When one realizes that very few people could be in a more desperate situation than a young family traveling to a foreign land with a late term pregnancy. Then upon arriving to your destination and others witnessing your need for shelter and a place to not only sleep, but to hopefully have your first child be born. And not only are they not interested in helping, they are all too busy with their own lives to see another’s need for help and compassion.
I have often heard that the reason that God chose this path was to relate to the "common people” of the day. I, too, believe that this is true. But I also believe that as a people with a free will to choose our actions there was also the ability to test those in the community at that time of human history with what John Quinones has been very successful at with his ABC network television show "What would you do”? Each person that was asked for help that day had the ability to stop and help, but chose other items, time schedules or priorities. This caused them to miss being a witness to the literally beginning of time as we know it today. This singular event has been used to schedule every event since this date in history.
We also learn that those who were undergoing this lack of help did not simply give up, but that they became their own encouragers. They knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they were doing as asked and that God was in the midst of them, and their situation even if their present situation did not seem to be what they were expecting. This ability and knowledge was not only important for survival at the 1st Christmas, but is also applicable today.
Understand that you are not alone, cultivate a thankful mindset, and connect with others. This will help in understanding that there is no "movie set” life of perfect living standards and allow time to cultivate an ability to be thankful for what we do have instead of what we think we need. Take time to be good to oneself is never a bad thing. Everyone needs adequate rest, nutrition and a sense of belonging to a group, cause and family.
I, most definitely, do not have all of the answers. But I am forever grateful that I do know the one who does, and more importantly that He knows me. This is the Gift that was given on that first Christmas day. He was sent to show us how to live, develop standards of governance and to also treat each other with respect and reverence of the one in whose likeness we are made.
We are not a perfect people, but we are a blessed people. This blessing is not only evident but it also has a purpose in that we are to be a blessing to others. This Christmas season may we all take some time to look around and see if we might be of help to someone else. This does not mean for us to be "someone that we are not”, nor does it mean that we all have to be measured to reach a certain standard of acceptability. But we ALL do have to be an accountable agent for change for the good when people may be watching, but most importantly even when they are not looking. This is what is really in a person’s heart and where character becomes integrity. Bradley County citizens exemplify this not only during the Christmas Season but all throughout the year. This "Gift” is yet one more reason that Bradley County is Tennessee at its best!
And once again, it is truly an honor to serve as your County Mayor. From my family to yours; we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!