By: Eric Horton

We live in an environment that almost everyone you come in contact with is in a hurry.  I was in the Hub City the other day and got honked at twice and a hand gesture was made to me once. Let me say this, if you are going to give a gesture like that, make sure there are no children in the vehicle. Anyway, right here in small town U.S.A. we still have people who are constantly in a hurry. I’ll even admit that I’m in hurry sometimes. Taking kids to school, trying to get to work on time, making it to the church before anyone else beats you there and the list can go on and on.

Yesterday I was talking with my co-worker about Thanksgiving and how it seems to be the forgotten holiday. She told me that Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday because of how relaxing it is. That is a very true statement. If you think about it, Thanksgiving, the forgotten holiday, is a great time to relax and reflect on how much The Lord has blesses us. Then comes Black Friday! You know, that day when your minimum wage worker cringes because their boss expects them to control a crowd of hungry, overly excited, I want that best deal you are offering type people.

Now, I don’t have anything against these large box and electronic stores because I believe in the idea that our Capitalistic society should be allowed to make an extra buck, even at the expense of our own desire to get a good deal. I mean really, that’s why its called “Black Friday.” The more you have buying from great deals, the more money they make. At least it seems that way. So Black Friday has become this crazy, stay up all night, spend lots of money, rushing to the next sales event mess! However, about half of us fall for these antics.

With Black Friday, it seems that the Christmas season already begins with everyone in a hurry. Well, I say that the Christmas season begins with Black Friday, however it’s not even Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations are going up, the hobby store already has most of their Christmas crafts, decorations and etc. all on sale. Don’t get me started on the long lines! Anyway, Christmas has become the most commercialized holiday of the year. According to The Statistics Portal, during the Christmas season the retail industry brings in $3.19 Trillion and that is fifteen percent of our national debt. The average that folks spend on gifts is $752.00. So let just agree that Christmas is a big thing.

But why do we need to be in such hurry during this time. This is suppose to a be time where we celebrate the birth of Jesus. If we look back to the birth of Christ, we see that no one was really in rush.  The Magi or Wise Men came several days or a couple of years later, depending on which historical account you agree with. Needless to say, not many people were in a hurry.

In book of Proverbs, we’re told, “Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.” (Proverbs 19:2 ESV) A great proverb for sure! All the hurrying, rushing and go go go will only get you one thing(s) and that is missing the things that are most important or should be most important to us.

What are those things? For one, its the celebration of the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ. Yep, too many people fall victim to this. Why you ask? Because we are in such a hurry we forget about why we even celebrate this holiday. Jesus is the reason for the season! I know its sound cliche, but its true. If there was no birth of the savior, would we really celebrate Christmas? We do know His name is in the holiday Christmas?

Other things we miss when we are in hurry is family time. Yep, I went there! Our families should be the most important things to us next to a relationship with Christ. Our families and loved ones should be cherished and especially the time we spend with them. I remember a lot of the Horton family Christmas gatherings. Whether the gathering were at mema’s, Aunt Ediths, Aunt Juandas or even uncle Harrolds, it was always looked forward to by all my cousins and other aunts and uncles. We felt connected to one another and were excited to spend just a little bit of time with each other. We would play games, listen to old stories, open gifts and simply fellowship.

As we approach Black Friday, remember to slow down and be grateful for the time that The Lord has granted you. Before you know it family and friends have grown up, moved away and passed away. Take time this Christmas season to cherish what matters to us most. God and family are the center focus of our time. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!