Ever had the experience of having an “elephant in the room?” It’s what happens when there is something big and disturbing that we all know about but won’t discuss. We stress over it; we pretend it’s not there; we go to great lengths to maneuver around it… all because we don’t know how to deal with it.
It’s Christmas, and many families will be gathering together to celebrate the holiday while simultaneously trying to step around the elephants that have accumulated in their relationships. Hoping for peace on earth and goodwill toward each other, they will bite their tongues as they enjoy Christmas dinner. And doing their best to ensure a silent night, they will stick to only the safest topics for conversation.
Isn’t it exhausting? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just be honest about the elephants? And have we ever stopped to think about exactly how much elephant maintenance is costing us? The longer an elephant is allowed to stay, the more trust he eats. The more trust he eats, the bigger he gets and the harder it is to get rid of him without doing some major damage to the relationships.
What if we sacrificed some of that peace and silence to do some important and needed work on our relationships this Christmas? What if we prayed for God’s healing before our guests arrived or before we went over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house? What if we humbled ourselves to be the first one to say, “I’m truly sorry,” to those who feel hurt? What if we decided to put some forgiveness under the tree?
Maybe we could save our money this year, and purchase a gift that will only cost us our pride and the risk of stepping out of our comfort zone (and maybe a thrown plate or two). Wouldn’t it be worth it? Even if it ends in disaster (and I’m aware that it’s a good possibility with some of our families), the attempt would be precious to God, and there is no way to know how He will eventually use your sacrifice.
Blessings to you and yours!