Christmas is a difficult time for many people. Unfortunately, too many of us see Christmas as sending out the “perfect Christmas card,” putting up the “perfect Christmas decorations,” making certain the Christmas desserts appear perfect on that decorative plate for the upcoming Christmas party, and other mainly trivial items surrounding Christmas.
One year ago today, one of the world’s most beloved entertainers, Robin Williams, took his own life. Very few entertainers have cut across such a wide swath of age groups while entertaining the masses. From Aladdin to Peter Pan to Mrs. Doubtfire, Williams put his very own mark on every movie or act that he performed.
Several months ago, my wife and I had stopped at some yard sales in a small town near our home. While perusing a box of older VHS movies, I came across the movie Dead Poets Society. I had never watched the movie but remember hearing about it years ago. I purchased it for $1 and several weeks later watched the movie. Although we could debate some of the finer philosophies presented throughout the movie, one thing was undeniable. Williams was brilliant in playing his part as an English teacher encouraging his subjects to not just endure another English class but to seize life and live it for all its worth.
For most of my life, I had managed to stay out of the “long commute” club (I define long commute as anything longer than a thirty-minute drive). However, in the fall of 2012, I joined hesitantly as my commute from Northwest Indiana to Chicago began on a daily basis. After a fifteen-mile drive, I would get on a train (NICTD) for a forty minute ride. After hopping off of the train, I then walked approximately 17 minutes (1.2 miles) before I would arrive at my work place.
At first, I couldn’t believe that I was commuting 75-90 minutes each way every day! In addition, I would moan and bemoan the fact that nearly three hours of every day was wasted with my commute (whine, whine). However, it wasn’t long before I realized what a blessing I had been given. It was during that commute that I was beginning to spend a good amount of time reading, re-reading, and meditating on God’s Word each day. Many of the books that were “shouting” at me to be read were now being consumed in a rather quick manner. In addition, I was constantly meeting new people which led to many different discussions about God, the Bible, and eternity.