Sometimes I wish I could have a “It’s a Wonderful Life” experience. When George is at the end of himself an angel comes and “rescues” him from himself, and then proceeds to give George a gift. The gift of seeing his life as though he were never born.
Obviously that isn’t possible in real life, but I was talking with Kayla the other day and we were pondering what life would have been like if Mark and I had stayed in Waldwick instead of moving to Ringwood. Of course it was only a one sided view as we reminisced of all the things that have occurred because we live here that never could have taken place if we hadn’t moved.
It began one summer day in 1991 while our family was vacationing at Spruce Lake. Mark and I were taking a walk while the boys were playing with the other kids attending family week. The boys were growing and our house was getting crowed so we had recently planned to renovate our attic into a master bedroom, do some work on the existing bedrooms for the boys, and while we were at it we planned to have the house re-sided. We had talked to a construction company, had been given a quote, and put money down on the project. But out of my mouth that day came these words…
“It’s not so much the house I don’t like, its where it is.”
I don’t know which of us was more surprised. I honestly hadn’t really thought that thought before it came out of my mouth.
I suppose it was in my mind, but I had never given into thinking about moving. I never considered it an option. And even as I said it I didn’t expect it would really happen.
That sentence turned out to be a game changer.
After I put voice to that, when I put my feelings and that idea into the atmosphere it put things into motion.
Mark actually really listened to how I felt about where we lived and began to talk about the possibility of moving. When I asked about the plans we had made for the house and the money we put down his response was,
“It would be better to stop the work even if it means losing some money than to do all the work and you still not be happy here.”
Sometimes there are conversations between husband and wife and in the moment things are said because they seem to be the right things to say, and then life happens and those things that were said don’t become reality.
I was amazed when that single sentence I put into the atmosphere that summer day at Spruce Lake became reality!
“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9
I see this verse as the answer to understand how everything unfolded in amazing ways as we made the decision to look for a place to move.
As Kayla and I were talking the other day one thing that came up that never would have happened is the Living Nativity.
The first Christmas we celebrated here Mark was Joseph, I was Mary, and Mark read the Christmas story to the audience that was our friends and their families of our small group that met each week. We began in our house as the angel came to tell Mary of God’s plan. Then we went outside and I rode our horse as Mark led him up to our barn. There baby Jesus was born and laid in a hand-made manger Mark made from a pallet. It was very simple, but from that was born the Living Nativity that has taken place for twenty years since shining the light of the true meaning of Christmas into this dark world.
It is a reminder to me that there is a bigger picture to life than I could ever imagine!
While I may see my desires and decisions from my perspective and as the fulfillment of what I want for myself, God has so much more in mind.
God’s thoughts are so much greater than mine!
God’s ways are so much higher than mine!
Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians,
” just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” 1 Corinthians 10:33
Though moving here to Ringwood was something that I really wanted and I saw it as something that would be for my profit, I now see so clearly that God intended for it to be for the profit and salvation of others.
Several years ago the Living Nativity out-grew our property and has moved to Solid Rock Day Camp in West Milford. I’m very thankful for Scott and Bonnie, the camp directors, and many others, who have joined together to keep the Light of the true meaning of Christmas shining bright.
This Saturday, December 8, we will celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with the presentation of the Living Nativity at Solid Rock Day Camp with two performances, one at 5:00 and one at 7:00.
It is free and open to all. Please join us and may the simplicity of the Christmas Story be a reminder that small, humble beginnings bring forth great profit to the lives of others, and are intended for the salvation of many!