“50%off” That was two days ago. Now it’s Christmas morning.  The “magic” of Christmas was going cheap before the day had come … and gone.  Could it be that those ads and commercials touting the latest, the best, the brightest to make our lives better, easier, more satisfied could have the cherished objects deeply discounted even up to 75% off before the day has even come?

You can fool some of the people all the time.  You can fool all of the people some of the time.  So which one are we?  Why is it so hard to see through the empty promises which fill the air waves, internet and print leading up to the ‘magic’ day of Christmas?

Perhaps it is because they are telling us what we want to hear.  We want to believe that if we had enough money or the right pill, or even Mr./Mrs. Right,  life would live up to our dreams.  Anything or anyone who plies our imagination with enough ‘magic’ surely gets our attention.

But, as you read this the ‘magic’ day has come and gone and the New Year beckons or has arrived.  By now the wrapping paper is in the trash, perhaps the tree and tinsel are taken down, and we are still the same.  We are pestered with the same aches, pains, disappointments and heartbreaks that all that ‘magic’ was supposed to fix.

God alone can fix us.  Albert Einstein famously said that the definition of insanity was to continue the same behavior with expectation of a different outcome.  Surely now, as we contemplate 2014 with bulging bathroom scales, empty pocketbooks, and the excitement of Christmas 2013 now all but forgotten, we are ready for a new approach to life.

January 6 heralds the visit of the Wise Men to the manger.  Will it find us wiser and seeking the Savior and His Solution to the unfulfilled life?


Sand blowing on the Kelso Dunes, California.

Sand blowing on the Kelso Dunes, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“Permanent Change of Station” or PCS is what we called it in the military when we were assigned to a new location.  “Temporary Duty Assignment” or TDY is what we called it when we were only to be there for days or a few months.  When TDY I sometimes stayed in a tent, an old WWII barracks and even a spare bunk in the bottom of a ship.  We learned to ‘make do’ because it was just for a little while and then we would be back home.  Home.  That was where our family, friends, regular meals, car and all the things that made life more fulfilling were.

Being in war games out in the Mojave Desert many years ago, living out of a duffle bag at the end of my cot, I was thankful not to have too many things to try to keep up with because there wasn’t room for them. They would have gotten in the way of my job and besides all that the desert wasn’t my home assignment.

Christmas is about a permanent, PCS assignment.  This world is a temporary, TDY assignment.  Things didn’t start out that way.  God set up the Garden of Eden to be a permanent place but then we messed that up.  From that day to this our world has become a TDY assignment.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem to die and change all that.  His death was the price for a PCS assignment out of this world where there would be no pain, suffering, sickness, poverty or death.  For most of us Christmas is not the idealistic painting of a perfect life in a perfect family in a perfect village.  For most of us, the celebrations are merely a pause, or not even that, along what can be a grueling journey of life.  Thanks be to God that the Reason for the Season is that we now have a way out of this temporary assignment.  When Christ returns or our body dies, our trust in Him brings with it orders for a Permanent Change of Station!