1000 AWESOME THINGS..

 

I’d really like everyone to have a totally awesome Christmas!

 

When Neil Pasricha first started his award winning blog

1000 Awesome things

he had been going through a really tough time,

life seemed bleak and the future dark and forbidding…

And then he sat down, and thought about all the awesome things in his life…and started his blog - which eventually grew and grew

in popularity and reach –

until the readership  hit the millions…

Some of the 1000 AWESOME THINGS he suggested we consider were things like…

..

#20 Me Time

#19 Remembering all you’ve learned from old boyfriends and girlfriends

#18 The Airport Pickup

#17 Thinking

#16 Staying out till the place shuts down

#15 Becoming a regular somewhere

#14 A good turnout on your birthday…not sure that means the same thing in Canada as it does here…but whatever!

#11 Driving through your old neighborhood and stopping to see the house you grew up in

#9 Crossing off the last item on your list

#8 Looking back, smiling, and saying thanks

#6 The last day of school

#5 Collapsing into bed when you’re completely, massively exhausted

#2 Remembering how lucky we are to be here right now

 

I imagine we could all list a few

AWESOME THINGS ABOUT CHRISTMAS?

·        LITTLE SAUSAGES AND BACON ROLLS

·        REALLY EFFECTIVE CRACKERS THAT MAKE A SATISFYING SOUND

·        WHEN THE CHRISTMAS PUDDINGACTUALLY  LIGHTS UP WHEN YOU PUT A MATCH TO IT…WARM THE BRANDY I’M TOLD!

·        A SALVATION ARMY BAND PLAYING CHRISTMAS CAROLS IN THE WIND

·        PICKING UP PEOPLE YOU LOVE AT THE AIRPORT

·        A NATIVITY PLAY WHERE AN ANGEL PICKS HER NOSE

·        WHEN SOMEONE ELSE OFFERS TO DO THE WASHING UP

·        SILENT NIGHT

·        MIDNIGHT SERVICE WITH CANDLES

·        WHEN THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS WORK FIRST TIME

 

 

Pasricha outlines the three principles elements in this process –

the three PRINCIPLES OF AWESOME…

 

·        ATTITUDE

·        AWARENESS

·        AUTHENTICIITY

 

If we want to have an awesome Christmas… we need to think about our

 

ATTITUDE – what is our attitude as we consider Christmas?

 

OPEN OR CLOSED…

THE INN-KEEPER LITERALLY CLOSED FOR BUSINESS – THE SHEPHERDS WIDE-EYED AND UP FOR WHATEVER THE NIGHT WOULD BRING

EMOTIONALLY OPEN - PREPARED TO BE VULNERABLE TO THE TOUCH OF TRUTH AND THE FEELING OF BEAUTY…

OR BUTTONED UP, RELUCTANT TO GO DOWN THAT ROAD THE ONETHAT TAKES YOU TO BETHLEHEM..

WHAT IS OUR ATTITUDE

AND HOW WILL THAT SHAPE OUR EXPERIENCE OF A CHRISTMAS

THAT IS AWESOME OR NOT…

CYNICAL OR FRESH

JADED…heard it all before…. OR SENSING THE MAGIC LIKE IT WAS THE FIRST TIME?

BORED WITH THE SAME OLD SAME OLD…OR OPEN TO WONDER…WILLING TO EMBRACE SURPRISE SHOULD IT COME TO US…

 

We can decide how we are going to be…

The inn-keeper or Shepherd

Herod or the wise men…

Haughty or humble

Keep a safe distance -  or risky and intimate?

--

THE SECOND CRUCIAL INGREDIENT IN AWESOME IS

AWARENESS

..

SOMEONE SAID TO ME RECENTLY THAT THEY HAD

“LISTENED TO A LOT OF SERMONS - BUT NOT HEARD MANY!”

THAT CAN HAPPEN..

WHOOSH OVER OUR HEAD

MIND WANDERS;

WE SWITCH TO AUTOMATIC PILOT

THAT HAZE OF FAMILIARITY

YADEE YAH..WISE MEN SHEPHERDS STARS STABLES…BLAH BLAH BLAH

UH HUH..YES…HMM./

-

LIKE WHEN YOU TALK TO A DOG

IT ONLY “TUNES IN” WHEN IT HEARS

DINNER OR WALK OR BEACH…

OR THE DOG HEARS ITS NAME

-

CHILD LISTENS TO WHAT IS BEING SAID…

a hundred teachers can bang on..

but when you actually listen!! 

JOHHNIE NEIL STORY

LISTEN TO WHAT IS BEING SAID…

 WORDS OF THE SONGS:

Veiled in flesh the God head see

Hail the incarnate deity

Pleased as man with man to dwell..

--

Light and life to all he brings

-

No ear may hear his coming

But in this world of sin

Where meek hearts will receive him still

The dear Christ enters in…

 

Enough for him whom cherubim

Worship night and day

A breast full of milk

And a mangerful of hay!

HANG ON A MINUTE

WHAT ARE YOU SAYING HERE??

e.g.

OMG… this is big stuff…

This is amazing!

Really…this is what it’s about?

Seriously?

I hadn’t really thought about it with such clarity and intensity and focus…

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN…

FOR ME??

-

YOU KNOW HOW, WHEN HIS TEAM SCORES A GOAL,

AND THERE’S FIVE MINUTES LEFT

FOOTBALL MANAGERS DO THAT THING..

FOCUS..THINK…

HAVE AN AWARENESS OF THE MOMENT, THE OPPORTUNITY,

THE IMPORTANCE…

=

 

THIRD ELEMENT IN EXPERIENCING THE AWESOMENESS OF LIFE

AND ENJOYNG AN AWESOME CHRISTMAS

IS

AUTHENTICITY

 

Being honest with yourself…

KEEPING IT PERSONAL

Prepared to SEE THAT IT IS TO DO WITH MY LIFE

WHEREVER THAT LIFE IS AT

·        NOT PRETENDING TO A STRENGTH THAT ISN’T THERE

·        NOT POSTURING AND HIDING THE TRUTH

THIS IS WHO I AM

THIS IS WHERE I HURT

THIS IS WHAT THIS MIGHT MEAN FOR ME…

=

ACKNOWLEDGING THAT THIS MIRACLE,

THIS ASTONISHING GIFT

IS NOT JUST ABOUT AN EVENT

OUT THERE IN HISTORY

BUT A POSSIBILITY HERE

IN MY HEART

WHERE THE SEARCH IS

WHERE THE NEED IS…

FOR FORGIVENESS

FOR AFFIRMATION

AND ASSURANCE

FOR FRESH STARTS

NEW HOPE. ..NEW BEGINNINGS

-

THIS CHILD COMES NOT INTO THE ABSTRACT

BUT IS WILLING TO BE BORN INTO EACH LIFE…

·        THIS IS FOR ME…

·        WHO SOMETIMES FEELS ADRIFT

·        THIS IS FOR ME WHO WONDERS WHAT I AM WORTH

·        THIS IS FOR ME WHO HAS LEFT A TRAIL OF DESTRUCTION

·        THIS IS FOR ME WHO WANTS TO BE ALIVE NOT EXISTING

THIS ABOUT ME…

THIS CHILD

THIS MOMENT

=

SO PERHAPS I SHOULD GO

NO, NOT PERHAPS -

I SHOULD GO

Cast my pride and hesitation to one side…

I DON’T WANT TO BE ON FRINGES ANYMORE

OPENING A STORY BOOK

I WANT TO BE IN THE STORY

AND THE STORY TO BE IN ME…

I SHOULD MAKE MY WAY THERE

AND I SHOULD KNEEL..

IT SEEMS THAT

THE GIFT HE WANTS IS

MY HEART

 

THAT AUTHENTIC ENGAGEMENT WITH THE MIRACLE

TAKES US BEYOND HISTORY

NOT

“HAPPENING OUT THERE

AND THEREFORE NOTHING REALLY TO DO WITH ME”

BUT HAPPENING IN HERE

AND HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH ME…!!

.

HAVE AN AWESOME CHRISTMAS…

 

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