Well I’ve caught a cold. I almost never get sick and I suppose that’s partly because Wendy almost never gets sick. But last week she started coming down with a sore throat and headache and so on and so now I have it too. I spend a fair bit of time with her (that’s a good thing when you’re married) and so if one of us gets sick the other is likely to.
Picking things up from the people you are closest with is very natural, and I don’t just mean germs. When you spend lots of time with someone you just naturally pick up traits and quirks and even ways of speaking.
I went on a summer mission trip back in ’85 with Teen Missions. We spent the first two weeks in training down on Merritt Island, Florida. To get there they had a bus that I got on in Saskatoon. We travelled for 5 days all down the Eastern seaboard picking kids up at cities along the way. I loved that trip. Every day we’d get new people from places I’ve never been to and nothing but time to visit and get to know them and what their lives were like.
But something funny was happening to me. The further south we got the more I took on the accent of the kids we were picking up. By the time we got to Florida I sounded like Chris Jones. (He’s the head coach of the GREY CUP CHAMPION Edmonton Eskimos!!!– sorry, couldn’t resist.) I finally made a conscious effort to change when I caught myself talking about going up on a “rouf” instead of roof.
There is a spiritual truth in this as well. You will take on the characteristics of the one you are most intimate with. Galatians 5 says that the result of spending more and more time with Jesus, literally under his control, is that you will naturally exhibit in greater and greater measure his characteristics. These are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
There is no better time than the season of Christmas to begin picking up a divine accent. I encourage you to intentionally seek out places where the birth of Jesus is more than just another aspect of this wonderful time of year, but where it is the focus and center of celebration.
Even better, spend some time in the book of Luke in the Bible getting to know him yourself.