Total Access
Purity Girls
Purity 101

God + ?

    Last December I watched The Polar Express, a movie about a young boy who rediscovers "the magic of Christmas" by rekindling his belief in Santa Claus. In a climactic moment, the boy, who can see Santa's sleigh bells but cannot hear their joyful music, closes his eyes and softly repeats the words, "I believe, I believe, I believe!" Santa then gives him a sleigh bell to keep as a reminder that as long as he believes in Santa, the music of Christmas will ring in his heart.
    Very touching, but it "rang false" with me. You see, I never believed in Santa Claus. Actually, I've been told that I used to shout, "There's Dumb-Dumb!" whenever I'd see a department store Santa at the mall.
    My parents decided not to pass on the charming tradition (or lie, depending on how you look at it) to me, and looking back on their decision I find that I was not robbed of any of the "magic of Christmas" by only celebrating it as Jesus' birthday.
    I, as a parent, also decided not to teach my children that Santa Claus is real. This has led to some embarrassing moments, as their preschool tendency was to loudly announce, "Eww, Mommy, look--there's a Santa over there!" in a tone of disgust.
    Once at the checkout line of a toy store an employee in a furry red and white hat casually asked my son, Joel, "So, have you been good in the store today?"
    "I think so," he responded.
    "Well," the cashier continued, "I know Santa Claus, so I always tell him which kids are good and which are not."
    I watched Joel with a glazed smile to see what his response to this information would be. I hoped he would not contradict her statement too loudly, as the store was crowded with parents and children who might not appreciate his honesty.

    He did not say anything.
    I breathed a relieved sigh, but as the lady continued to ring up our purchases, she turned to Joel again, and asked, "So, what is your name?"
    "Joel," he answered.
    "Ok, Joel," she said, "I'll be sure to tell Santa that you were good today."
    Once again, I held my breath for his response.
    "…and that's my sister, Holly, over there," he said, gesturing in her direction.
    In the car, I asked Joel, "How come instead of telling her that you don't believe in Santa, you made sure she had Holly's name, too?"
    "I'm not sure," he replied.
    "Did you want to have your bases covered, just in case Mommy and Daddy are wrong, and there really is a Santa?"
    "Uh-huh," Joel answered.
    I think we often believe God just like Joel believed his dad and I, but still wanted to have his bases covered, just in case. Maybe sometimes we hesitate to put too much faith in God, because it makes us look silly in the eyes of a world that prizes human logic and understanding above anything else.
    For example, many local ministers were recently quoted in our newspaper as saying that the biblical account of creation is not true--some said it was figurative, outdated, or penned by men who were uneducated by today's standards. They said that God did "create" the world--through the process of evolution! Talk about having it both ways!
    Our faith, all of it, belongs in Jesus Christ, the living Word. He is the music; He is the magic; He is the truth of Christmas.
    "Lord, I believe…I believe!"

Previous Total Access Next