Survivor Lessons

What I learned from a power outage and reality TV

Wind through the evergreens
loudly did blow.
Trees fell and power lines.
Look out below!

Both heat and lights went dead,
yet we survived.
Huddled by candlelight,
feeling deprived.

Food in the fridge went bad.
Not much to do.
Starbucks was dark and locked.
McDonalds too.

Cell phones were on the fritz.
No internet.
Down coats and stocking caps.
Indoors? You bet!

Yet looking back I’d say
those days were good.
Stoking the fireplace
with scraps of wood.

I was reminded of
and all that matters most.
My fam-i-ly.

The above was written in the midst of several days without heat or lights in our Seattle home following a windstorm that left more than a million people without power. It can be sung to the classic Christmas carol “Long, Long Ago.”

Surviving a natural disaster does indeed draw family and neighbors together. Meanwhile, being the last one standing on Survivor has its own reward. A check for a million dollars.

What follows is a reminder that winning a jackpot this time of year (or any time for that matter) doesn’t necessarily equate to having joy fill your world. As Jesus taught us long ago, “It is more blessed to give than receive.” Acts 20:35

You’ll be envious of what Yul got.
It brought him Yuletide joy.
This sole survivor claimed first prize.
He is one happy boy.

A million bucks is no chump change.
Think what this champ can buy.
Immunity from Scrooge-like blahs.
He’s such a lucky guy.

But is the check that Yul Kwon cashed
what makes for Yuletide peace?
Our world is filled with wealthy folks
whose ulcers never cease.

This month of envy, want and greed
brings many people down.
Depressed in spite of having much,
they’ve furrowed brows and frowns.

But there’s a way you can survive
this season of Christ’s birth.
You gauge your joy by what you give
instead of what you’re worth.