Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Death Of Me

My wife loves to look at Christmas lights. Whether they are on the Christmas tree in our sun room or hanging on the outside of our house, Christmas lights make my wife happy. She also likes to look at other people's Christmas lights. So, upon occasion, my wife and I have taken a winter car ride through neighborhood after neighborhood just looking at the various Christmas light schemes people have decorated their houses and yards with.

With my wife's love for lights in mind, each year this 62 year old man climbs up onto the roof of our house and drapes strings of lights for his wife to look at. This year, however, I have finally figured out her evil scheme. Yes, my wife is trying to kill me!

I don't put a lot of lights on our house - just four strands of those big-bulb lights. They go up and down our roof line. I plug them all into a long extension chord and plug them into a timer. It's nice and it makes my wife happy. My wife loves Christmas lights.

However, last week for some reason, when I came home from work at night, one of the strings of lights was not lit.

"It's probably a fuse," I said to my wife. "I'll fix it on Saturday."

When Saturday rolled around I got out our 40-year old creaky wooden ladder, climbed up on the roof and replaced the tiny fuse. Yay! The lights lit up. My wife was happy. I'm such a good husband. My wife loves Christmas lights.

The next night TWO strings of lights were out.

Again I got out the old, wooden ladder and replaced one of the fuses that had blown. All the lights lit up again. My wife was happy and so was I. Climbing up on a slippery roof in winter is not always the safest thing to do. I was glad the lights were finally working. My wife loves her some of them Christmas lights!

The following night ALL of the lights were out.

Somewhere in the world I am sure there is a man who puts lights on his house and never has any trouble with them at all. I would like to meet him and shake his hand and then punch him in the face for violating the Christmas light Man Code - rule 139b - "When lights go up, they must go out - whether on trees or on houses - and preferably in the most inaccessible location possible."

As I stood in our front yard and stared into the face of my enemy - the darkened roof line of our house - I heard a voice in my mind that sounded a lot like my dad.

"Fuses blow for a reason, son."

My dad was right. I had four strands of lights running into one outlet. Not too safe I guess. Too many lights, not enough brains. So I split the lights in two strings, adding another extension chord and things have been fine ever since.

So this Christmas, with sounds of Christmas carols and Ephesians 5 still ringing in my ears, my wife is happy, I am still alive, and I thank God for fuses and old ladders. I am thankful for fuses because, without them, I could have been standing in my front yard staring at a rather large pile of ashes where my house once had been. And I am thankful for my old ladder because, just like me, it still does its job and, in its own way, helped me get closer to God this Christmas.

Last night, as my wife and I returned from a night out together, she reached over and grabbed my hand as we approached our fully-lit house. Men? Listen to me. There is nothing quite like "dying to self" to bring out the true meaning of Christmas - Jesus. It gave me great joy to know that my wife was happy . . . and that I was still alive to enjoy it.

Oh, and did I tell you? My wife loves Christmas lights!

"25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." - Ephesians 5:25-32

250 Strands Of Lights - Chevy Chase

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