The Christmas Story

By Sandy Mayle

I have a little book on my shelves, cardboard-bound and covered front and back with fabric.  Its content is typed; the art is hand-drawn; the author and illustrator is my son, Greg.  The occasion was a grade-school assignment titled, “If I Were in Charge of the World.”

All I can say is, thank heaven he isn’t!

In the space of twenty pages Greg canceled homework, did away with room-cleaning, and eliminated his brothers, cats, and sickness (okay, I’ll give him that one).  He then proceeded to make sugar the new vegetable, and callously erased the entire Pittsburgh Steelers football team.  He ended by covering all his bases (in case Mom was reading his book?):
“And a person who forgot to do his homework
and sometimes forgot to clean his room
would still be allowed to be in charge of the world.”

Hmmm… I wonder what he’d have written if the assignment were, “If I Were in Charge of the First Christmas”?  I wonder what you or I would write?

I think we all would tend to eliminate the hard parts and the puzzling or painful places, and major on the joy and glory and good news.  Written by us, we’d have a Jesus who entered a life of privilege few could identify with.  He would have been born in a pristine setting in Nazareth, with grandmas and grandpas close at hand, and everyone would have welcomed Him with open arms.

But part of the glory of the Christmas story is in those hard places.  In the long, difficult journey.  The separation from kin.  The birth in a stable.  Being hated and hunted by Herod.

Yet God could be trusted with that story, couldn’t He?  He knew what He was doing ~ fulfilling prophecy, identifying with the poorest and most insignificant, becoming nothing… for us.  Every detail of the Christmas Story was vital and purposeful and we couldn’t improve on it even if the Author allowed us to try.

He can be trusted with your story, and mine, too.  It’s foolish to try to grab the pen from His hand and write, “If I Were in Charge of My Life.”  We’d eliminate the very things that God meant to use for glory.  Better to gaze in wonder at the manger scene this Christmas, and reaffirm to our Creator,

“Lord, You are in charge of my story.  Write what You want.  I trust You with all of my heart.”


About the author:
Sandy has been a freelance writer for many years and has written for Discipleship Journal, Pray! Magazine, Just Between Us and many other publications.  She and her husband, Dave live in Erie, Pa.

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