I woke up early this morning to the buzzing of my phone, announcing that I had just received an email. Still in a horizontal position and with blurry eyes and fuzzy mind, I slowly made my may through the long email message. Someone was concerned about my plans to secretly decorate a few of the Richmond Hill candy cane – shaped wastewater vents by wrapping red ribbon around them for the duration of the Christmas season. (see October 13th post)
“As you know, without permission, what you are considering to do would be an act of vandalism, which is against the law of the land and is against God’s commands in The Bible.”
I stumbled down to my laptop and looked up the definition of “vandalism” because I felt confused and discouraged. My motive in making these vents look like candy canes was merely to “bring a smile and a snicker to those who are walking of driving by.” Yet, this was the second time that someone had mentioned the vandalic nature of such an act.
According to Dictionary.com, vandalism is: “deliberately mischievous or malicious destruction or damage of property.”
From my perspective, I wasn’t going to destroy or damage anything. I was going to temporaily alter the appearance of the vents. That’s it.
The person who wrote the email had obviously given this situation far more thought that I had given. This person had written the email in love. This person had cared enough to seek counsel about the situation and to challenge me.
It was a dilemma for me and I wrestled with it all day long. As stated earlier, it’s the second time that someone had presented the idea as vandalism. I suppose the fact that my plan involved dressing in black and skulking around the neighbourhood in the dark hours of the night, speaks of behavior that is questionable. But I had eleven people email me and tell me that they wanted to join me in this fun, Christmas decorating escapade! How could “spreading a little Christmas spirit” be so wrong?
Well, I’m here to announce that I’m not going to go through with this mission on November 20.2011. Why not? I have one reason.
I’m taking the high road – a lesson that I learned years ago. Yes, I think this was a cool idea. Yes, I think it would make people smile during the Christmas season. But I choose to yield my opinion and let this one go. Sometimes, standing up is the right thing to do. Sometimes it’s not. This time, I think honoring God involves sitting down and not making this a big issue. I want to be wise, humble and loving. I don’t want to be a stumbling block to others.
So, fellow members of the vent-decorating committee, we will need to figure out a less controversial way to put a smile on people’s faces this Christmas season. Any suggestions?
Sin always leads us much farther than we intended to go. —James Philip