(I'm bringing back a series of posts I did in 2012 to speak about the intersection of what we value and what we feel we're supposed to value during the Christmas season. I'll post a new one up each week day until the 25th...Enjoy!)
If you were a boy growing up in the 1980s, you grew up in the Golden Era of toys and every other era shrivels in jealousy at the glory of your majesty. If this was a debate, I would make these three opening points:
Original Star Wars. Original GI Joe. Original Transformers.
Throw in the powerful sub-points of Masters of the Universe (He-Man), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Voltron, and Original Thundercats as well. (These 4 alone could stomp on the heads of every Pokemon and Yugioh character every fashioned by a fourteen year old Japanese Animator)
What's that ladies? You thought I was an egalitarian type blogger? You're right, I am! Feel free to claim the above toys as your own as well and although it's not my main argument I'll make a few brief points for your traditional case as well:
Cabbage Patch Kids. Strawberry Shortcake. Care Bears. My Little Ponies.
OK, OK, We hear you Matt O! Any closing arguments?
Rubik's Cube and Original Nintendo? I rest my case.
Did pride well up in you if you grew up in that era and played with those toys? Post-80s readers, did the spirit of debate raise its head to defend your toys?
We are quick to defend what we value, no more so than when defending cultural items of nostalgia or our favorite bands, movies, or sports teams.
This Christmas season, I want to ask what do you value? What have you placed supreme importance on?
What are you defending...in your actions or in your mind?
Expectations of the perfect holiday or perfect meal? Pleasing other people? The dream of having a stress-free zone? The opportunity to splurge and get what you want? Your right to judge the holiday and other people as materialistic? Your one season of acceptable gluttony? We often defend these values in the name of defending Christmas.
But our true values don't need defenders, they need witnesses. The fruits of the Kingdom as we follow Christ are grace, joy, peace, love, hope, humility, and justice. These attributes often show up strongest in moments where our expectations are most unmet or our sacred cows most threatened.
May we manifest these values first and foremost this season, and may we lay down the inner stresses and conflicts created by defending temporary and immediate values destined to fade...like once treasured toys discarded and forgotten in a closet, waiting to be packed in a cardboard box and given away...
(Unless of course, you have an original Millennium Falcon in the package, you can still gloat about that a little bit.)
Part 2 tomorrow.
Grace & peace to you...