For the ninetieth time (yes, I said 90!) I will be boarding a jet for Dallas this Saturday morning. For the past nine years or so, I have worked with a client just outside the downtown area and have become rather comfortable commuting to Dallas. Mind you, I have never rented a car, driven even a mile in the city, and I still don’t know that I could find my way from the airport to the city, but I have been there many, many times. The beauty of the trips is the fact that I have a person who always picks me up, escorts me around to my appointments and then returns me to the airport for my return flight to Indy.
Years ago, I used to stay overnight, but for the past several years, I have done the down and back trip in a single day. It is always difficult to believe that I can leave Indy, arrive in Dallas, work, have lunch at a local barbecue place, travel back to the airport and return home – all in the same day. And while I haven’t had many side excursions while on the road in Dallas, I have been able to attend the Texas State Fair once, visit the original Neiman-Marcus store down the street from the hotel I prefer and also paid a visit to the famous book depository where Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John Kennedy.
The greatest thing about this upcoming trip is that after scores of trips alone, Janet has decided to go with me. We have tried this for the past two years, but once we were canceled due to weather problems and last year our daughter, Kristin, came down with a severe illness that necessitated our staying home. We hope, as the saying goes, that the third time is the charm. When I have so much knowledge of a place that Janet hasn’t been to, other than layovers at the airport, I guess I just want her to see where I have spent so many nights of my life. It’s natural for me to want to share some of these experiences with her.
One of the highlights of the trip will be the hotel that I like to stay in. It is one of those older places, built more than 100 years ago, that subscribes to the idea that December is the month of Christmas and the hotel decorates for the holiday! It’s not one of those politically correct places that wishes you Happy Holidays – they have Christmas trees and mangers and nativity scenes – all with an eye toward the celebration of Christmas. I guess if you don’t want to celebrate Christmas, you may not want to stay at this hotel. Now I know that the idea of public displays about Christmas is not popular, but for Janet and me, we are looking forward to the experience.
The verse tonight comes from the prophet Isaiah who proclaimed the eventual birth of Jesus. And as we all know, Jesus is the reason for the season. Isaiah tells us, in Is. 9:6, “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.” Notice all the names that Jesus is known by – that’s because He had so many attributes. My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to acknowledge the birth, death and resurrection of His Son. My prayer is that this Christmas season, you won’t water down the message of Jesus. After all, God is depending on us to spread the Good News of the gospel and there’s just no message like, “Merry Christmas.” Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…