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Advent, A time of reflection

It wasn’t until Jeremy was in his early 40’s that he realized that it was time to grow up. And what made him start looking at things differently was when he had gone to his father, yet again, asking for money. Jeremy was in another “tight spot”—-no fault of his own—-and he needed money to get him out of his present difficult situation.

But this time his father did something that Jeremy never thought he was capable of doing, he told his son, “No”. Jeremy’s father had finally realized that he had been enabling his son for way too long, and that he wasn’t doing him any favors by playing “super-hero” and getting him out of all his dilemmas.

Every time the father had done this in the past, he had hoped that his son would learn from the experience. But it wasn’t to be. Although Jeremy would say he had learned something from what just occurred, it soon became obvious that he hadn’t learned anything except that everyone else was out to get him—-it was never his fault. So, the endless credit card debt was his wife’s fault, and the changing of jobs all the time was the fault of whoever it was he had to report to etc, etc. And the stress that Jeremy said he was under lead him to drink too much, and that just complicated things even more.

So, here’s what Jeremy’s father said to his son the day he told him “no”:

“Son, it’s time for you to stand on your own two feet. My suggestion is that you stop playing the game of blaming everyone else and start living like an adult. You have to get a grip on things, start looking at yourself more honestly—-maybe even get yourself back to church and start praying, asking God to give you the courage to face the challenges of life. God wants you to accept his help and take responsibility for your life and those who depend on you. In the end you will be held responsible. You can only say no to God so many times. So, turn to God and he will help you out of the trap you have created for yourself. I do love you, and I hope to hear that you are doing better, but I will not be giving you any more money.”

What slap in the face this was for Jeremy! Like someone had thrown a bucket of cold water on him. He walked away from his father as angry as ever. Yet, when he calmed down, he knew his father was right. He did have to acknowledge his problems and not blame everyone else. Strangely, he felt a sense of relief at that moment, as if he’d been waiting for someone to say those words to him.

Eventually Jeremy did shape up and became a person who relied on his faith and God’s help. He began to see that he did possess the resources to deal with life’s problems.

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.” Advent starts today. We are encouraged to think about the end time and what direction our life is headed. What will that scene be like when we stand before the Lord? Yes, the Lord loves us and is merciful, but we can’t keep throwing away opportunity after opportunity. At some point it will all catch up to us. Ask Christ to help you be honest with yourself and acknowledge your need for Him. Embrace your faith and put you life in God’s capable and loving hands. That’s the best way to prepare for the coming of the Lord!

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