I have been insisting that Jon and I get our fill of holiday movies this year. So far we have watched Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street, Its a Wonderful Life, and we have seen a theatrical production of A Christmas Story in Flagstaff. Still on my list is A Charlie Brown Christmas, Christmas Vacation, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (not the Jim Carry version, the cartoon).
Well, last night was Its a Wonderful Life and I felt a pang of guilt in realizing that I am a lot like George Bailey. About once every couple of months I throw a little fit, feeling like everything we own is cheap and crappy, like our lives are just too chaotic and not worth the trouble. I curse our tiny house and the holes in my socks and our bank balance. I realize the plans I have to travel are not likely to occur. Now I don’t get to the point where George does of thinking it would be better if I was never born or jumping off a bridge into an icy river, but you get the point.
Well, if you have ever seen the movie you know that George Bailey in the beginning of the movie is sweet, caring and adventurous, and the George Bailey at the end of the movie has his eyes opened to see the Wonderful Life that he has. Its the George Bailey in the middle of the movie that is not very likeable, so the fact that my own character sometimes resembles his is troublesome to me.
The reality is that Jon and I are so incredibly blessed through the generosity of many, many friends and family. We are blessed by the generosity of God, who provides everything. In comparison with most of the world, our family is so stinking wealthy materialistically and financially. But like George Bailey, I am blessed in many other ways, too.
So this Christmas I just want to take the time and be grateful for the amazing husband and daughter that I get to hug and kiss every day. For our parents and our siblings who are so kind, giving and sacrificial. For our friends and our church who sustain us day to day. For our students who give us cause to rejoice. For a God who so loved me that He came to live with us as a helpless babe and died on a cross for my sin. And, because my human nature wants to cling to ungratefulness, I am thankful for old movies like Its A Wonderful Life that serve to remind me of God’s goodness towards me.