Hidden in Plain Sight

Hidden in Plain Sight

We have looked everywhere and it is still missing. What do we do now? That is pretty much how I feel about my daughter’s lost iPhone.   It seems like it would be difficult to really just misplace a phone in the world we live in today, but we have managed to do it.

As Kailtyn last remembers, she had her phone in her room when Debra called from the kitchen for her to come and help out with some work around the house. She believed that the phone must be somewhere in her room. We, of course, questioned her about where else she might have been and what other possible explanations could be found for this missing device. But, she was sure that it was somewhere in her room.

I will not go into all the details here as to the extreme efforts we went through to find her phone, but just let me tell you they were both exhaustive and exhausting.   I know that I can answer some of your questions already. No, she didn’t have the Find My Phone feature turned on in her settings. And yes, I did get so low as to dig through the trash. At this point, I believe that I might be an expert in finding phones. I did have one brilliant idea. I waited until late at night and everything was dark. Clearly calling her phone during the day didn’t work because it was on silent mode. But, in my mind, it would still light up when called at night. I thought for sure that I could go from room to room and I would see a light and I would be the awesome father who found his daughter’s missing phone. All of my efforts have ended in failure. That phone is in our house somewhere and I know we will find it. Maybe it will be when we take down all the Christmas stuff or when she goes off to college, but at some point we will find that phone!

I have to say that Kaitlyn has reacted to these developments better than most young ladies that I know. She is using an old phone and only on wifi, but she has taken it all in stride. Our phones are expensive and useful devices for us to have, but there is something else missing for many of us this time of year that is even more important: Christmas Joy!

There are a number of reasons why we sometimes miss out on the joy of the Christmas season, ranging from extremely material (too much focus on presents and parties) to the very emotional (missing loved ones who are not with us at this important time of year). I know and understand that these are very real issues and struggles that we go through, but I also believe with all my heart, that God wants us to move beyond our struggles and focus on what He has done for us. Christ’s birth, which is what Christmas is all about, was God’s way of telling us how much He loves us and the beginning of our ability to have real joy in this world. So, here are a couple of thoughts as to how we can add a little Joy to our busy Christmas season.

First, be like the Magi in the Christmas story, and do whatever it takes to search out the King and worship Him! Those “wise” men traveled many difficult miles in order to find something that they were not even quite sure about. They had a star and a dream and that was enough for them to sacrifice greatly in order to complete their journey. What about us? Can we not carve out a little bit of time during this season in order to worship Christ? We will struggle to find joy in all the tinsel and presents if we don’t first focus on the Christ of Christmas. However, if we begin by worshipping the King, then we will find joy in everything else we do!

Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Second, be like Christ himself and leave the comforts of your own home, get out into your world, and serve others.   Christmas is the story of God loving this world so much that He sent His only Son (John 3:16). Jesus left all the goodness of heaven to come to this earth and be a baby. That is an incredible reality! He became like us and then He consistently loved us. He showed us what it means to be a true servant. He even went all the way to the cross for us (Philippians 2:5-11). I wonder if we can take some inspiration from Him and learn to be servants in our community?

I have to tell you, there is joy to be found here, if we truly want to find it. And, for just a moment I would like to brag on our little town and the joy that I see all around this community these days. I was particularly moved after becoming aware of several projects last week. First, our church was working at the Celebration House (our local food pantry). We were a bit concerned that we would not have enough workers for all of the clients that day. A few minutes before the work began, about a dozen students showed up from the school’s Interact program. These young people should be commended for thinking about others and for all of their hard work that afternoon.

Here are some of the other “good works” that I noticed around town. Flatonia National Bank had an angel tree for our Nursing Home residents. What a great idea! Also, there are several Blue Santa operations going on around town to provide presents for kids in our community. The Catholic Church is hosting the Christmas day lunch this year. Our church put together 103 Operation Christmas Child boxes, so that kids in other parts of the world can have a little Christmas joy of their own. In addition, we will put on our Christmas Musical this Sunday Evening at the school cafetorium. There are so many great things going on that I cannot possibly keep up with them all.

My point is simply this, if you want to have Christmas Joy this year, you can find it in plain sight all around you. Unlike Kaitlyn’s cell phone it does not have to remain missing. If we will seek the Lord and then serve each other, we will truly know a joy that cannot be taken from us!