Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Merry Christmas all of you readers of Great Danes and Coffee Stains I am pleased/sad/excited/stressed to say this will probably by my last Christmas greeting from South Africa (unless its during a wonderful holiday in future).

All that said there are a few things I would like to write about. I have always wanted this to be a place where I feel I can share my thoughts safely, however I feel I have kept my heart guarded a bit. I don't know why. I hope in the future that won't be the case. So, I would like to share something.

With Christmas approaching I believe that every Christian (and maybe everyone that celebrates Christmas is some form) reflects on the true meaning of the this season, whether its contemplating the basic existence of God or just really desiring the know how deep "Emmanuel", God with us, truly is. I have been doing this and realized something that I am not necessarily proud of. I am so western-capitalist in my heart when it comes to Christmas. Living in the summer for Christmas has really gotten me down. This is the third year in a row that I feel mildly depressed at this time because of climate. Thats sad. I should be rejoicing with all my heart that God came to Earth so that I could have a restored relationship with him. But, I would rather complain that its hot and I am sweating at night because we don't have AC.

I really want a cold, hot chocolate, fire placed, ice skating, winter wonderland Christmas. But is that wrong? Does that make me less of a Christian. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't, I don't know.

Here is another example. We are stoked because Prescott (from what we have read on the internet) goes all out decorating for Christmas. Here the decorations are small and crappy, if there are any at all. Just the idea of shopping at the Mall of Georgia with all the sounds, lights and smells of Christmas makes me so homesick right now its pathetic. I don't think I will get an answer to this tonight, just thinking.

I was also thinking about this today because we drove by a kid begging at the traffic light today and while people begging at the light isn't rare there was something about this kid that really broke my heart. I would guess he was about 13, he was tall for his age and really really thin, about half Rachel's thickness. He was wearing a filth, old t-shirt that was huge and hanging, a pair of really short running type shorts and no shoes. He was bent over and limping like an old man. The thing that killed me was I had no idea what I could do to help this kid. Give him some change? Some food? Invite him to spend the night at our house? What could I really do that would honestly help this kid? Plus, in light of my self reflection about Christmas I felt like the biggest loser on the planet.

There is so much pain in this world and the older I get and the more I travel and learn the more pain I find. Its overwhelming and I don't know what I am doing to make this world a better place. I pray that I can impact people that will in turn go and impact people and hopefully through this chain reaction the world will be a better place.

So this Christmas has been nice, even with all the uncertainty of whether or not I am a decent person. I made homemade pancakes for breakfast (blueberry for Ray and plain for myself). Then we went to a movie with a friend that we work with and her sister.
After the movie we drove around to look for a restaurant to eat our Christmas dinner athttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif, but nothing was open so we went home and each at 2 baked potatoes and a pile of broccoli, awesome, not so much. Then we just hung out at home. It was an alright day, and as Don Chaffer says, "alrights not good, but alright's alright".

Oh yeah, next by nexy Tuesday night we will have already left SA, landed in ATL, became the proud owners of a dark green Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4x4, eaten at one of our favorite American restaurants and enjoying a Christmas party with Ray's fam in Atlanta. Sounds nice. Cheers.



Mynhardt said...

hey, my friend! too bad you never got into the summer way of doing christmas over here. me? well, i guess if you've only known this one thing your whole life, hey?

anyway, read this: http://www.livingway.org/library/Articles/SANTA.html,

...and meet up with me at www.mynhardtvanpletsen.com.

Jani said...

we had a great time with you guys!!! thank you for being such good friends. SA will miss you for ever...