Thursday, July 23, 2015
The Night I Stopped Believing in Santa
I can't remember how old I was, but early one Christmas morning, when I realized that Santa Clause had "walked", as we say around here, I rushed up to see what he had left. I was sooooo excited to see that I got a bike. It wasn't my first bike, but it was my first 'big boy bike'. I was checking out the seat and the handle bars and the gears, and then I noticed something strange. There were these papers taped to the bike. "Could it be a special note from Santa?", I thought. I pulled them off to see what it said. My faith in Santa Clause came crashing down around me when I read words like.."Western Auto"..."Lay Away Receipt"...and "In the name of Clint Evans". Just with those few words, everything I had ever believed about Santa Clause came into question. "How in the world can reindeer fly?"; "There's no way he can carry all those toys in one bag"; "How did he come down our chimney and not get burned up in our wood heater?"; "How did he eat all those cookies and not get sick"...Santa Clause's red suit from then on would bear a big, fat question mark.
I said all of that to say I do need the Lord's help sometimes in reaching back into my heart and finding that kind of faith again. Not a faith that will allow me to believe in Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny. But that kind of faith that believes and never questions; faith that exists without understanding. Not that I need help to believe in God or to believe that I am saved. For those, I absolutely have no doubt. But I do sometimes need His help to believe that I can have peace in this world full of turmoil; that I can feel safe in this world full of danger; that I can still find grace in this world full of sin; and that I can still show love in this world full of hate. I need that unquestioning faith from when I was a little boy, because everything I see in this world tells me something different. I need God's help because even though His word tells me not too, sometimes I tend to lean on my own understanding.
I understand better now when His word says that I must have the faith of a child to enter into His kingdom. I don't have to understand everything, I just want to believe. And I believe with everything that's within me that God loves me, even on the night I stopped believing in Santa.