“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” Hebrews 12:2

My dad was the youngest of eight children. As a result, many of his siblings were young adults during his elementary years. Though there were many disadvantages regarding the lack of playmates, there were significant advantages to being taken to various activities since many of them could drive and had jobs to pay for such events.

One of my dad’s most famous stories that he loved to retell involved his two oldest siblings taking him to his very first Red Wing game. My dad was an avid sport enthusiast, so it was a dream come true be a spectator in the old Olympia Stadium, the home of the Red Wings during my dad’s youth.

My dad was in his glory watching his hockey idols skate at the amazing rates of speed across the ice. Unfortunately, during the very first period of the game, a bad shot was taken (back in those days, protective glass did not exist to the extent of today’s standards), and the puck went wild into the crowd. As my dad followed it through the air, he quickly learned that my Aunt Grace had very poor reflexes as he watched the puck smack her in the middle of her forehead! The evening quickly concluded in great disappointment because she had to be removed from the game and sent to the hospital for stitches. To make matters worse, the puck ricocheted on impact, resulting in someone else taking home the free souvenir that my dad felt he was entitled to own.

Frequently, disappointment often tends to stem from unmet expectations. In our mind, when we feel situations should happen a certain way but reality takes various situations down alternative avenues, disappointment often results.

Sometimes, this disappointment even happens during the Christmas season. All of us want the perfect Hallmark Christmas celebrations, but the reality is that we live in a sin-filled world, and there will be disappointments and unmet expectations.

So how do we prevent setting ourselves up for a disappointing Christmas? The answer is by looking up and keeping our eyes on the Christ child. This Advent season, may we keep our eyes turned upward, keeping our focus on Jesus. During the Christmas season, there are so many things that demand our time and attention, but nothing is more important than keeping the main thing the main thing… and that is keeping the birth of Jesus the focus of our celebrations. Certain gifts may be impossible to find, the turkey may end up overcooked, and you can't control poor behavior from others, but you can strive to keep Jesus the focus of each day.

After my dad had soaked as much sympathy as possible from those listening to his sad story, he eventually announced that the stadium did give his family tickets to return to another game, which also ended up being very exciting. Jokingly, he would always add that my aunt wore a helmet to the game! Realistically, she didn’t… but her eyes stayed focused upward the entire time. This Advent, may we also keep our eyes focused upward upon on Jesus, who is truly the reason for the season!

In His Love,

Mrs. Palka

Ready To Learn More?