News Item: A.Dru-Christmas 2009
(Category: A. Dru Kristenev's Op-Eds)
Posted by Toddy Littman
Friday 25 December 2009 - 19:32:38



It Came Upon a Midnight Clear…



Actually, it was about 3 a.m. but the skies were crystal and cold. What am I talking about? A Christmas message for me that seemed significant enough to share, and it clarified some correlations between Scripture and how we mind the business of our lives and our neighbor’s lives.

It started for me with the realization that it has been 40 years since the first Christmas after the death of my mother. This triggered some thought about the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, opening a door in my mind that maybe I’ve inadvertently followed in their footsteps. Not a pleasant thought, but as this year has unfolded, I’ve begun to realize that my penchant to cling to past experiences has kept me in my own personal wilderness for the span of a generation.

All right, this may sound like idle musings about why the Israelites meandered the desert, however these ponderings brought me to understand that I have perpetuated their same fault. Doubt.

Early on, the Lord led and protected the Israelites through every avenue of escape from slavery. He gave them a beacon to follow, opened the seas and fed them every day in their sojourn. The story of the manna alone is the lesson that most struck me. God gave them daily sustenance that could not be stored. They needed to collect the gift of the day’s provision every morning. If they attempted to hoard more than was necessary for their nourishment, it would be gone. The Israelites were being given a daily message that they can, should and must trust the Lord in all things. Doubt would be their undoing, yet they did not understand or accept His gift in the manner it was meant.

Instead, they couldn’t even contain themselves for the 40 days it took Moses to receive the written Law from God and deliver it to them. They doubted. They crafted an idol and cavorted in its presence, placing faith in something of their own making and not the wonderment of God’s proven gifts. They paid the price… 40 years of waste, leaving the Promised Land to the next generation.

There are many correlations here, in my estimation. To doubt God and His ability to supply all you need is manifested in the action of hoarding. As much as the Lord tried to teach the recalcitrant Israelites that hoarding (doubt) is futile, they still murmured and complained that what He gave wasn’t enough. They wanted more and paid the price. My own price is intensely personal, but it is a price all the same, and the overall lesson that I received is what I’d like to share.

Christmas Eve all those years ago, we didn’t want to spend the night at home. It had been a very special time for my mother and we were all too raw to even attempt to approach the holiday with cheer – and here I use the scriptural sense of the word, ‘courage.’ We packed up the car and went to the drive-in to watch the new release, “Scrooge” with Albert Finney, which is still one of my favorite Christmas films. But it was only this last “midnight clear” as I pondered the 40 years, that brought home yet another meaning of hoarding.

Yes, hoarding is the embodiment of doubt, but it is also the physical and spiritual storage of waste. All kinds of waste. Hoarding riches is wasteful because it is never used to anyone’s benefit. Not the hoarder, not the poor. It piles up in one’s heart as well as in one’s household or bank account. But why do we hoard anything? Because we doubt God’s ability to adequately provide for us.

I am not disparaging prudent saving, hoarding goes far beyond that. It is waste stored in one’s body, perhaps as pain or fat or even, if you’ll pardon my being crass, constipation. Scripture associates the bowels with the core of our very being in numerous instances, both physically and spiritually. In fact, Christianity is not the only faith or philosophy that does so.

Waste is a stumbling block for many of us because we will continue to doubt and rely on the instinct to hoard, giving in to the animal part of our construction rather than the spiritual which the Lord placed in our hearts. Scrooge had help to figure it out and we do too if we give ourselves over to the Lord to complete the equation.

But that takes faith.

Faith is something that has become lacking in our society and the runaway Congress is proof of that. Many have abandoned the faithful founding of this nation that was cobbled together by men of faith who studied the Word and were guided down the path of freedom.

Doubt is now the way of life. We so doubt our purpose that we have given over to hoarding. Oh no, we aren’t compiling the riches personally, we’ve given that onerous duty to government to do it for us. Let the Congress tax and hoard and what do they do? They create legislation that is filled with literal and actual waste. TARP, Stimulus, and the federal budget alone are monstrosities of compiling waste that is not getting to the hands of the needy, it is filling the coffers of the rich – those that feed off the vulnerability of the poor as did Scrooge, the privileged members of Congress and financial bottom-feeders – not the productive business builders who provide employment for the would-be poor.

If this has been too rambling for you, let me break it down into my little epiphany. To doubt is to hoard; to hoard is to amass waste; and waste is what a miser compiles that is beneficial to no one… the hoarder or the needy. And accumulating waste poisons the body, be it an individual’s or the body politic.

For me, it’s been 40 years and I, like the new generation of Israelites, am ready to accept God’s gift of Faith.


As we celebrate the birth of Christ, our Savior, may God bless you in your journey,


A. Dru Kristenev, Author of Land Barons, Gold Baron, and the upcoming Energy Barons

With special thanks to Toddy Littman and his tremendous insight.




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