The Good Stuff

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By Guest Blogger, Jason Applegate

As I sit here writing this, the Holiday season is just getting under way. Christmas is right around the corner.  You can feel the anticipation starting to build!  The kids have made their wish lists, menus are being planned, and the wife and I have already had our first friendly disagreementabout how early is too early to set-up the decorations.  She won, and we’ll wait a few more weeks.  All of the wonder and excitement of the Christmas season is still to be had.

However, as you read this, another Christmas has just made its way into the books.  Even though New Year’s Eve is a special time as well, I can’t help but feel a little melancholy once Christmas Day is over.  Actually, that feeling starts to hit me as soon as Christmas morning turns to afternoon, and the last presents have been unwrapped.  I’ve always been this way, even as a child. 

As much as I’m a Christmas guy, I’m a sports guy, and in particular a football guy.  And for a football fan, there is no better time of year than Bowl season and of course, the Superbowl.  I could literally watch football all day on New Year’s Day, and in fact, I used to…before that sort of thing was frowned upon by certain other occupants of the house.  Still, I look forward to this time of year, all year.

Our lives are full of moments like this.  The big ticket events.  We mark our calendars and count down the days until that special day arrives.  And then we repeat the process all over again.  Some of us have more of these days than others, and some of us probably even have too many.  But we all know what it’s like to anticipate something with the excitement of a child. 

Although I’ve been guilty, on many occasions, of putting sports before other things, there are plenty of big ticket spiritual events as well.  As a musician here at FPC Bethlehem, there are always things on the schedule to look forward to.  Musikfest, Alive, the Christmas Concert, Easter Sunday, and most recently, playing for the Men’s Retreat at Lake Champion.  These things are the “Superbowl” and “Christmas morning” of my musical, and yes, spiritual life.  They are the circled dates on the calendar.

But what about the days in between the BIG days?  The mundane…the routine…the minutiae…the grind?  It’s so easy to focus on those special days, that we sometimes lose track of what happens in the days leading up to them.  What about the days before Christmas?  Making cookies with the family…finding the perfect tree together…listening to a favorite Christmas album while gazing at the flickering lights on that perfect tree.  Priceless.  And what about those regular weekend services at FPCB?  7 a.m. practice with the band, prayer before the service, getting completely lost in a worship song that you’ve played one hundred times before, but the words took on a new meaning to you this time…looking out and seeing God’s presence fall gently on the congregation.  Again, priceless.  And what about coming home after a work day and being greeted with hugs and kisses from your family?  Is there any better feeling in the world?  I think not.  The cure-all for the common lousy day at work! 

Although those special days are nice, and are certainly welcomed, I would contend that what happens in between those days is where life is truly found.  That’s makes us tick.  The good stuff.   And friends, if given a choice, I would take that good stuff over the Superbowl and Christmas morning any day of the week.  Unless, perhaps, the Eagles were playing in the big game….

About the Author

Jason resides in Bethlehem with his wife and two sons.  Besides playing drums at FPCB, he coaches football and baseball for his son’s teams.  Jason is a fan of all Philadelphia sports teams, but Notre Dame is his first love.