Summary: The third in a series on The Three People Missed at Christmas. This focuses on a personage of the innkeeper, who was so close to the Savior, but missed the boat.
Have you ever missed the boat? Have you ever gotten so wrapped up in things that you have missed out on the main reason for doing what you do?
The rich industrialist from the North was horrified to find the southern fisherman lying lazily beside his boat, smoking a pipe.
"Why aren’t you out fishing?" said the industrialist.
"Because I have caught enough fish for the day," said the fisherman.
"Why don’t you catch some more?"
"What would I do with them?"
"You could earn more," was the industrialist’s reply. "With that you could have a motor fixed to your boat, and go into deeper waters and catch more fish. Then you would make enough to buy nylon nets. These would bring you more fish and more money. Soon you would have enough to own two boats . . . maybe even a fleet of boats. Then you would be a rich man like me."
"What would I do then?" asked the fisherman.
"Then you could really enjoy life."
"What do you think I am doing right now?"
You know, we live in a day and age in which that thinking is very prevalent. HURRY UP AND DO SOMETHING—MAKE MONEY, BECOME FAMOUS, BUT WHATEVER YOU DO, DO IT NOW!
On Friday, I had to go to the WalMart in Dickson City. Twice. Both times, it was extremely busy and hectic. It was mobbed. I just had to get some grocieries, and both time it took more than twice it normally would. And then there was the cashier’s line. I spent one hour in the store; 30 minutes getting grocieries, and 30 minutes waiting in line!
The point is simply this—we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off, but why? You would never know what this time of year is really all about.
Take the year 1809. The international scene was tumultuous. Napoleon was sweeping through Austria; blood was flowing freely. Nobody then cared about babies. But the world was overlooking some terribly significant births.
For example, William Gladstone was born that year. He was destined to become one of England’s finest statesmen. That same year, Alfred Tennyson was born to an obscure minister and his wife. The child would one day greatly affect the literacy world in a marked manner. On the American continent, Oliver Wendell Holmes was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And not far away in Boston, Edgar Allen Poe began his eventful, albeit tragic, life. It was also in that same year that a physician named Darwin and his wife named their child Charles Robert. And that same year produced the cries of a newborn infant in a rugged cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky. The baby’s name? Abraham Lincoln.
If there had been a news broadcast at that time, I’m certain these words would have been heard: “The destiny of the world is being shaped on an Austrian battlefield today.” But history was actually being shaped in the cradles of England and America. Similarly, everyone thought taxation was the big news—when Jesus was born. But a young Jewish woman cradled the biggest news of all: the birth of the Savior.
When Pope Julius I authorized December 25 to be celebrated as the birthday of Jesus in A.D. 353, who would have ever thought that it would become what it is today.