I just thought of something else to be grateful for this Christmas.
The few times I’ve gotten in my car to go somewhere over the past few weeks, I’ve had the same CD in the Impala’s CD player; Sweet Baby James, by James Taylor.
No, you’re right. It isn’t the least bit metal.
It’s good music, though. I’m not here to write an album review, but what I’ve been thinking about lately is how lucky I was to have such a wide exposure to music from a very early age.
My dad loved the big band stuff, and I heard a lot of that growing up. He had a pretty decent collection of 78 rpm records, and though I didn’t appreciate it much at the time, I love that kind of thing now.
My sister Lee Ann’s first husband, Jerry, gave my brother a box of old 45 rpm records–surf music, and some doo-wop, and other early sixties groups. I still enjoy that type of music when I get to hear it, too.
My sisters Debbie and Valorie introduced me to guys like James Taylor, and Kenny Loggins, and later on, Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne as well as Bruce Springsteen.
That’s right. My sisters introduced me to metal.
My mother used to listen to KSON in the kitchen on this single speaker transistor radio. From her I learned about singers like Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, and Charlie Pride. Later on, my friends Shawn, Mandi, and Jackie would introduce me to more country–more modern stuff like Garth Brooks and Toby Keith.
Later in life, I would discover “Christian” music, and that was good, too.
So what I’m grateful for is music, all music. There is certainly plenty I neither like nor understand, but that’s cool. Someone likes it.
I could spend all day, probably, listening to songs and bands I like, and telling you about the people who introduced me to them, but I don’t feel like it, so I’m going to leave you with a song that’s been keeping me peaceful lately.
There is something I don’t want to forget. It would be easy to, because I have a great deal on my mind right now, and it’s all tied together.
Health, family, church, worry, finances, Christmas and many other things all competing for my attention at the same time.
There is only so much to give and that’s what makes it easy to forget.
I am a broken individual, and in certain ways always will be. I am weird, and mixed up sometimes, and even though I wish I could fix myself and all the things that are wrong with me, I can’t.
And that is what I forget.
I can’t fix myself.
For me, that’s the reminder I need this time of year. That’s what Christmas is about.
We couldn’t fix our problems, so God made a way for us.
He sent Jesus, Immanuel. In a lowly way to a lowly place.
And that’s Christmas.
Whether it be in December (it probably wasn’t) or sometime in the Spring (it probably was), the thing we need to remember about Christmas is that it means there is no longer just us trying to do everything.
We don’t have to try and fix ourselves.
We are seen in the place we are right now. We are known. We are loved.