One of my family’s Christmas traditions is attending the stage play of A Christmas Carol each year. We have a terrific regional theater that rivals anything I have seen in the big city.
After years of watching the same production, something was different this year. With a new actor playing Ebenezer Scrooge I found myself studying the production in more detail. Dialogue that I have heard many times stood out stronger for me. In some ways I was watching this play for the first time.
Late in the show, with the ominous spirit of Christmas yet to come on stage, Scrooge spoke the famous line from the play,
“Are these the shadows of the things that will be or are they the shadows of things that may be?”
Something sparked inside of me and I listened closer.
“The course of a man’s life, if persevered in, will determine certain ends; I accept it. But if he departs from those courses, the ends must change. Say it is so with what you show me!”
At that moment I was on stage speaking.
“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will remember the lessons of the Past; I will live in the Present; I will live toward the Future. The spirits of all three will strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.”
Most people watch the story of how Ebenezer Scrooge transformed from a tyrant to a decent man and think they be so different. “What an awful man. That is not me.” We must be careful with such thoughts. Each of us needs to stay vigilant to what lies in our heart. All of us can be more and do more.
Ignorance manifests as a young boy in the play. The spirit warns Scrooge (and us) to beware of Ignorance above all else. Indeed. Sadly many still watch A Christmas Carol and believe it to be about this one man’s journey.
Indeed each of us stand on that stage.
This is the spirit of how we need lead and work together … fight ignorance with curiosity … learn from our past … live deeply in the present … and build for the future.
Merry Christmas … Happy Holidays … Peace to all.