SOMETHING TO HONK ABOUT
I once owned a car that was so old it had a personality. The air conditioning was long gone, the paint was worn, and some of the windows had to be guided and held as you rolled them up by hand. But this car also had some really weird quirks—for example, the gas gauge went down to empty when you turned on the lights. The gas didn’t fall out–but you couldn’t tell how much gas you had in your tank at night. That sort of thing is not ordinary “old car” behavior — we’re talking about a car with eccentricities.
But that wasn’t the weirdest quirk that this old car had. One day as I was pulling out of a parking place I heard some honking and thought it was the woman behind me. It wasn’t. The car that was doing all of the honking was mine, even though I never touched the horn.
What made it worse was that the honking only occurred when I turned the wheel ever so slightly—at intervals—so it sounded like I was honking at everyone else around me as if I were mad at them for some reason. Not exactly the way to win friends and influence people, you know?
The problem was that I had 3 small children to pick up from school when this happened, and I was already running late. The car worked, it just honked a lot. I thought that since I didn’t have a backup plan for the kids and I wasn’t too far away, that I’d just get them from school and drive home quickly.
But as I was driving towards the school, the intermittent honking started to bug people, to put it mildly. Other drivers would look at me like “what’s your problem?” People on the street would stare. I was worried that I might really get a few of them angry.
So I started to wave. As my car was honking, I waved at everyone around me as if I were driving a float in a parade. And I smiled at all of them. As I drove, every time the car honked, I waved my arms and smiled at whomever looked at me as if I meant to honk at them—as if I was being just incredibly friendly.
And they started to wave back, sometimes smiling, sometimes waving back pretending as if they knew me, like “Oh, hi! How have you been?” Sometimes they half smiled, puzzled as to why this person whom they didn’t know was trying so hard to get their attention.
I made it into the school parking lot without getting killed :-), and when I was driving through to the school, it was a little easier to smile and wave as I was honking because I really did know these people! But what happened next was even better. When the kids got into the car and I told them what was happening, they thought it was hilarious.
As I started driving and the car started honking, all 4 of us started waving vigorously out the window. Pretty soon we all got the giggles and our smiles turned to uncontrollable laughter at the predicament we were in. It was just too funny!
The feeling was contagious. As if we were in a parade, 3 small children and a “crazy woman” were honking and laughing and waving, arms flailing out of the windows of a Suburban at everyone around us—what a sight we must have been!!!
It made all of the people around us chuckle too. Even when we left the parking lot and traveled along the street, the people we passed all started waving and smiling and laughing too. It was an incredible ride home!!!
As I arrived home, grounding that noisy old pile of metal until we could fix the problem, I looked down at my sweatshirt. In big letters it said, “JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.”
I wondered how many people saw those words while I was honking and waving at them, seemingly trying to get their attention. It occurred to me that the message on my shirt was definitely worth a parade—that it really is a reason to honk and wave and — CELEBRATE!
I was an unwitting evangelist that day, but as December 25th gets closer, I figure that it’s time to evangelize on purpose. 🙂 So I’m going to wave and honk in a virtual way—on the Internet—here on this site.
For the last couple of decades it seems that Christmas has come wrapped up with everything but Christ. It has turned into this big, crazy, expensive Holiday that stresses everyone out, exhausts them, bankrupts them and makes them wonder what it was they were celebrating in the first place.
The thing is, we’re really far afield of the true meaning of Christmas—it was never meant to be the “buying stuff” holiday. So what is the true meaning of Christmas? What about it is worth a celebration?
Not the candy canes. Not the food. Not even the Ipods.
You’ve heard the song, what if God was one of us? Well, He was.
And he loves you. John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
You have a purpose in this world
No one in the world is like you
And the One Who created this:
Came to earth as a helpless baby
Visible to the poor working people shepherds and hidden from kings
To take your place
To lead you to everlasting life
To show you what it really means to love
That is the good news
It means that life has meaning—YOUR life has meaning.
Christmas is not about candy and reckless shopping sprees
Christmas is about hope for all humanity:
That the God Who made us genuinely cares.
Isaiah 9:2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned………you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor…..
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Now that’s something to honk about!! 🙂
(Just a note—the stories and pictures on this site are all in the public domain and come from Project Gutenberg, Wikimedia Commons and other sites offering public domain works. Some of them (esp commentary and photos) might also be mine, but you are welcome to use them!
“People are losing the power to enjoy Christmas through identifying it with enjoyment. When once they lose sight of the old suggestion that it is all about something, they naturally fall into blank pauses of wondering what it is all about. To be told to rejoice on Christmas Day is reasonable and intelligible, if you understand the name, or even look at the word. To be told to rejoice on the twenty-fifth of December is like being told to rejoice at quarter-past eleven on Thursday week. You cannot suddenly be frivolous unless you believe there is a serious reason for being frivolous.” G.K Chesterton, “The New War on Christmas,” December 26, 1925