We are entering into the holiday portion of the year with three major celebrations coming in the next fifty-three days. Not all holiday s are created equally! What good is a holiday if nobody knows? The following thoughts are from October 8, 2006.
Tomorrow is Columbus Day. We have no school so I am excited. My list of tasks requiring attention is rather long so it will be a catch-up day. I am going to get a haircut. There are in excess of one hundred Bible exams, almost seventy of them essay tests, for me to grade. My brother is coming in two weeks to do a tennis clinic for us at Westbury Christian School: the cleanup push in my apartment is ON. So, I am grateful for the day out of school but to be honest, the holiday is meaningless to me. I doubt many of my students know why we will have only four days of school next week but I heard no complaints. Columbus Day has been a federal holiday since 1971, set aside on the calendar to commemorate the explorer's journey to the New World. I know that several cities have parades in honor of the event but any significance of the day is lost to me. Every other holiday I can think of evokes some sort of emotional response except this one. Maybe the meaning has simply lessened over the decades. But, once you celebrate a holiday, you would have a difficult time removing it from the calendar. Try taking a vacation day from a mail carrier, a bank teller, or heaven forbid, a school teacher!
I think there is a measure of Columbus Day mentality in the way we view our religion. We do something simply because we have done it that way repeatedly in the past. Times of community worship or Bible study become an obligation instead of the joy they were intended. Individual reflection and prayer becomes rote, lacking any real celebration of the Creator who gave us the intellect to praise and meditate. The Fourth Of July and Veterans' Day spark feelings of gratitude in my heart while this second Monday of October will just prolong the weekend for me. I know Christopher Columbus left a profound footprint on the history of this hemisphere and the ripple effect has washed every other continent in the intervening five hundred years. It's just easier to blow it off than to pay any attention to this holiday. Forgive me, Lord, if I treat your sacred days in the same manner.
Applicable quote of the day:
"If Columbus had an advisory committee, he would probably still be at the dock."
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