The ceiling fan spun hypnotically, rotating secret and invisible currents of cool air down upon the bed, allowing the heat of the desert to be left outside and imaginations of a snow-filled Christmas Eve to drift about the room.  It had been a busy day, a hectic day, a hectic week, and if the truth should certainly be bared, a hectic month.  Preparing for this time has not been in the festive, joyous-season spirit.  In-laws have arrived, my sisterís family comes tonight, and others will be here tomorrow for the Holiday Feast.

 I got this afternoon off early from work in order to do last minute preparations and enjoy the time with family, and then felt guilty about doing it.  ďWhy is Christmas time always the busiest time at work?Ē, I ask myself.  It doesnít seem to be that way any other time.  But invite over-niters, plan to prepare food for a house full, get the decorations up and buy gifts, and get them wrapped, and make sure the outside and the inside of the home looks perfect, then, yep, it happens every time, the dam bursts at work and everything possible floods onto and over your work area.  It is becoming as predictable as last minute rush at Christmas.  And this year it was the worst of all the other hectic years from before.  First the plan for finishing of the bathroom remodeling which was scheduled to conclude precisely the day before guests were to arrive went array.  The last touch of interior design was to be stroked prior to any extended family member came walking through the front door, (or in the case of Uncle Syd, the back door, or the bedroom slider, or even the basement door, but never the front door, a tradition he calls it, the he started three years ago as one of his non-conformist protests or something).  But then the contractor got sick with the 24-hour flu virus that turned into a whole week.  And wood-rot was found in adjacent room supports that required an additional day of unscheduled work.  Then the paint didnít turn out to be what it appeared when picking out the colors from the little squares of samples I was shown, and the tile grout clashed with the coloring in the tiles.  It began to look like an April Foolís joke that was occurring early but still may be playing out on the first of next April.  It was a horrible experience.  Then I got into a fight with my Father-In-Law, and he and his wife took serious thought on changing their plans to visit.  All this on top of my everyday desire to just throw in my frustrations at work and scream, ďTake this job and ÖÖ..Ē.  But I got home early today, and Iím now laying down on my bed watching as the fan methodically revolves above my glassy eye stare.  It seems to shape an optical illusion in the few minutes that I take to myself, attempting to rest so that I donít appear to stagger into the busy afternoon and evening that lies ahead.  And as I lay here, I am lured into the twirling blades of the fan, for they make me think I can see each individual, rotating blade, spinning at several revolutions per second, but appearing as if they were moving very slowly, even stopping, then reversing their real direction and begin to spin opposite to reality.  If only it were possible.  To spin backwards that is.  To slow yourself down, and reverse the speed of which things were moving, in which time was flying past.  If only it were possible to slow me down, slow time down, to slow everything down.  What a unique concept.  What a wonderful day-dream.

 And so I linger.  And as I linger, I wonder.  I dream.  How have I let time get such a grip on me?  How have I allowed everything going on around me to dictate to me how I will allow that which goes on around me to take place?  Itís like backward spinning ceiling fans.  Itís an illusion that controls my view of how things work.  Is that what my time, my life is, an illusion? 

 As I watch the constant turning of the fan with a near sleep-like mental state, I also wonder of God.  Is He slowing me down so that I can reflect on what Christmas means?  Would He do that for me?  And if that were the case, what would be my response?  What does Christmas mean to me?  Is an illusion of what Christmas is really about, controlling me, who I am, and what I do when walking out my everyday life during this Holiday?  Is this hectic time the effect to how I am responding in an illusion of defined causes?  Is the way I am reacting suppose to occur, the pain of preparation, the onslaught of anger, the outbursts of emotion, the dissatisfaction of otherwise common occurrences, and the last minute explosion of adrenaline rush to finish those procrastinated chores?  Are these my responses to something thatís unfolding in an image that isnít even real?  What does Christmas mean to me?  Is everything that glimmers this time of year real?  Is the hustle and bustle of giving an illusion?  Is the purpose of celebration, which is occurring all around, for a reason?  Maybe without thinking I often allow the illusion of a real-life event to rule me, the hype of huge spending, trading gifts, and rushing about to beat a seasonís hassle.  But this is not the real meaning of Christmas.  God, in all His glory, is the real Christmas.  Knowing God, is Christmas revealed.

 In slowing down, resting upon my bed, I begin to feel as though a reversing of time comes over me.  Like the spinning fan above me, where the arms are clearly going a different direction then they appear, I reflect upon the real Christmas, the quiet, serene, and plainly simple little trough wherein a baby was placed, wrapped in swaddling cloth.  A place where the miracle of Godís grace reached down to my level and provided the means of salvation from the eternal separation of the Heavenly Father due to our own sinfulness.  A place where a tender infant, previously foretold to be the Savior of Mankind, born to a virgin, who was God Himself, manifested in the flesh of man, conceived by His own Holy Spirit was now appearing in order to become King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.  And as angels announced the coming of this Messiah in jubilee to shepherds in nearby fields, and while Kings arrived by the guidance of a star placed in the heavens by God Himself, this Savior of every person ever born, before and forever more, moved about under the loving looks of a few chosen.  I reflect, while upon my own bed, what that little bed of Jesus was like, and what He who laid in it was going to do.  I think about a King being born, The King of all kings being born.  My King being born.  I think what the appearance of Jesus Christ upon this world really means to me personally.  I think that if Jesus had not been born, He would not have later died upon the cross for me, carrying my sins to the depths of death, and leaving them there.  And had He not done this for me, I would not have been eternally established through His resurrection from the grave, to an everlasting promise of eternal life by just believing that He is the Son of God. 

 As I slow and reflect upon the personal meaning of what Christmas is to me, I recognize that my salvation from sin and this world of dying, and the eternal hope for Heaven could never take place without the birth of Jesus.  Is it by Godís very hand that he reaches down and touches me, allowing the joy of His love, this season of celebration to once again become real to me?  Is it through Godís Holy Spirit the real meaning of Christmas time is revealed?  Illusions are nothing, only fantasy.  But the birth of Jesus Christ was real, is real, and in this reality, Jesus is alive today, and His peace, His grace, His giving, reveals what Christmas is really about.

 Thank You Lord God for slowing me down and taking illusionís control from me.  You are God, Lord Jesus, and Your birth is Christmas.  There is joy in that.  There is peace in that.  There is love for all mankind in that.  Let that be shared now and everyday throughout the year.  And thank You God that through these days of the last few weeks, that which seemed impossible to do, have been endured so love can fill this house, my heart, tonight on Christmas eve.  I anxiously await the celebration that is just outside my bedroom door.

 I hear the doorbell.  Praise God.  And thank You, Lord Jesus, for this time of celebration, and for giving to me the true meaning of Christmas revealed, for that is no illusion.                  



  Christmas Revealed by Ronhales                                                                                                                                                      Romans 5:18