A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

Christmas Calling

December 9th, 2011

In the early 1980’s during my years at Northwestern College I lived in Colenbrander Hall. Dan and Dave were identical twin brothers who lived on my wing. It took me forever to tell them apart but they were always gracious. Two of the nicest guys you’d ever have the pleasure of knowing, they were also two of the smartest. The kind of friends you’d want to help you with your Calculus homework which, being about 2% left brained, I was never skilled enough to take.

Though it would be difficult for my kids to imagine, computers weren’t everywhere back then. There were no laptops or desktop PC’s in every room. Our college computer network was confined more or less to one room known to students as the “Computer Center”. It sported a large mainframe computer that the school was rightfully proud of and that, in today’s technology, would have the practicality of a 500-pound paperweight.

Dan and Dave were into computers. They took classes in coding and spent a lot of time in front of those monochrome screens with the blinking green cursor. I remember them walking down the hall with telltale dot matrix printer paper sticking out of their notebooks. Sheets and sheets of letters and symbols and numbers that looked to me like a drunk monkey had done the Charleston on their keyboard and then hit “print”. But to Dan and Dave it all made perfect sense.

One day during a dorm room conversation Dan and Dave were talking about something called “email”.  “Email? What’s that?”, I asked. They explained that email was short for electronic mail. You could send messages from one computer to another. In fact, they said they had sent messages to each other in the Computer Center.Their enthusiasm for this was pronounced. Imagine. Electronic mail!

It didn’t strike me as all that impressive. Or practical. My response to Dan and Dave? “What’s the point of sending messages to each other in the computer center when you can lean back in your chair and talk in person?”

Obviously, I wasn’t very good at envisioning the future. Had I been better at it perhaps I would have spared myself becoming a Minnesota Vikings fan. Also obvious is that Dan and Dave could see potential beyond what I thought was impossible. All I saw was one room and a handful of computers. Dan and Dave saw an electronic world.

Going about my days in December I hear phrases like “the magic of the season” and “the miracle of Christmas”. Magic and miracles both imply something beyond our human ability to “do”. Often even beyond our ability to imagine.

When we’re stuck in one room, it’s difficult to imagine a bigger world.

If you think about it, everything about Christmas nudges and prods us. It grabs our parka sleeve and pulls us out of the room we’re in and into God’s world where anything is possible. A world where snowmen talk and dance and reindeer fly. Where misfit toys find their place and Santa delivers to every house whether they have a chimney or not. A world where your curmudgeonly boss gives you an unexpected bonus and an even more unexpected kind word. A world with Little Drummer Boys and silver bells and First Noel’s and fruitcakes and yule logs burning. A world that wherever you find yourself, you want to come home. Even if home is Cleveland. Or Tucumcari. Or the no stoplight town that no one’s ever heard of.

Christmas calls us out to a world where angels sing to shepherds about a baby born. A baby in a manger who has come to pull you and me out of our dark and oh so sad room and into a world where God can do anything. Not the least of which is making us perfect and new, giving us a forever hope and a future.

What room are you stuck in? A room of disappointment? Broken dreams?

Are you stuck in a room of bitterness? Cynicism? And maybe you’d like to come out of your room but you’d just get slapped down if you did?

Is your room a waiting room? A waiting room where they never call your name?

Whatever room you’re in, Christmas is calling you out. Magic and miracles are definitely beyond your ability to do.

They are not beyond God’s ability to do.

Or as the angel said to Mary, “Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

Here’s hoping you experience God’s love and desire to do for you “above and beyond what you can ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20)


Todd A. Thompson – ASliceOfLifeToGo.com