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By Mike Shindruk

Wow, how time flies? 

I know that everyone has heard a parent or grandparent utter these words, followed by a semi-silent sigh. I find myself using this, especially at Christmas. It seems like only yesterday I was putting the finishing touches on a major home repair before the holidays arrived. Before we know it, we are all planning and decorating for this year’s Christmas celebrations.

I remember as a child waiting for the first snowflake to fall, so we could countdown to Christmas morning. My siblings and me would be vibrating with anticipation of our dad putting up the tree, and lights so we could decorate. 

December was the longest month of the year, and the 12 days of Christmas seemed so long. The magical morning would arrive and we were up before the crack of dawn. Why? Well it was because Christmas had arrived. Presents and paper were to be torn open. It was in those precious few minutes that we saw what we hoped were the wishes and wants. Watching over us were my parents, through their weary sleep-deprived eyes.

It wasn’t until we were much older did we realize the sacrifices that our parents made, just so we would be happy. In later years, this history would repeat itself as my wife and I would do the same thing for our children. Yes, we did what we could to make sure that Christmas morning was magical for our kids. We began to understand what our parents and grandparents meant by how quickly time flew. We had gone from being kids without a care, to adults watching and racing to live by the clock. When we are children, the world is provided for us, so the hours of the day are not watched or measured. As we get older, our responsibilities tie us to a watch on our wrist, and to the world’s deadlines.

It seems that I pay more attention to time as I age, because I now have less of it left, than I have used. Christmas seems to be a mark where we can recount the previous year to see how we fared out. This year I have witnessed profound changes in the lives of friends and loved ones. Some have come to the Lord, some have gone on to be with Him, and some have faced health challenges and changes that make us stand still and evaluate what is really important. I see God in so many of these things, and I realize that He has had His hands on all of our lives.

Christmas is the perfect time to sit in the dappled light of your decorated tree, rewind the tape, and give thanks. Marvel at what this child, Jesus, was borne into, and how He changed the world. 

Take a little time to give thanks, because it really does fly.

Mike Shindruk

Master’s Hand Ministry

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