As far as I can tell, houses fall into three categories when it comes to Christmas lights:
1 – Just enough to get by. These people know that it’s not cool to do NOTHING, so they slap up the basic minimum requirement for saying that they have some Christmas lights.
2 – Keeping up with the Joneses. These people watch their neighbors carefully and make sure that what they put up for the most part matches or keeps in step with what other people on their blocks are doing.
3 – Completely Psychotic. These lineal descendants of Clark W. Griswold have fallen over the edge into the abyss of insanity. Propriety and good taste are out the window. They are hated by their neighbors, subsidized by LIPA and gawked at by passers-by.
There are several houses like this in my hood. One or two of them have a donation box out front with proceeds going to a worthy charity. But I suspect something else is afoot. Good causes notwithstanding, I think these people just enjoy the sheer insanity of it. The reckless abandon; the absolute undiluted over-the-top-ness of it all.
We all spend time and effort decorating the outside. Both of our houses and of our lives. Some people go absolutely crazy working out, or picking out clothing or in other ways creating the identity which the world sees as “them.” But an intact exterior identity is no more a sign of a healthy life than a million bulb Christmas light array is a sign of a healthy family. The exterior appearance does not speak truth about the interior conditions.
Somebody said something once about a book and it’s cover. Seems to make sense.
How about you? How are things on the inside? I know you’re looking good on the outside. Got yourself all put together, Christmas lights all in place. Heck, I bet you even have a tan in December. But remember peoples, especially at Christmas time, remember – it’s what’s going on inside that counts.
It’s my sincere hope for each of you that as the year winds down you’ll take a little time to be still and listen for what God may want to whisper to you. I’m praying that each of you will find 2012 to be a year when you grow closer to God and grow more in his likeness. Both inside and out.