What holiday film annually appears on television more than 300 times? If you guessed It’s a Wonderful Life, you guessed correctly! Why is that, do you think?
Ever heard of “The Holiday Blues”? George Bailey certainly had them. Loneliness, depression, feelings of loss, financial burden, family conflicts and alcohol abuse can intensify during the holiday season because our focus becomes unclear. As the year draws to an end, we often tend to look back with regret, thinking mournfully of the things we failed to accomplish during the last 12 months. Or worse, we look further back over the past several years and see only areas of lack in our lives. George Bailey found himself thinking, “By now I should have been…” or “I really thought I would have…” Sound familiar?
Sometimes we overcompensate for these feelings by trying to buy success, or the appearance of success. We succumb to commercial pressures to make poor financial decisions that will eventually add to our levels of frustration. We may even enter into a holiday season already under an undue burden we created for ourselves last year. We look at all the glitter and glitz of the season and become resentful of the things we don’t have. Often times, we look for someone to blame: it’s our boss’s fault, or our parents’ fault, or our Uncle Billy’s. Someone else has not done their share; someone else should have provided for us. Do we forget that God has provided for us abundantly? Have we completely forgotten that He supplies all of our need? We have forgotten because we become obsessively focused on our wants and our lack, instead of God’s generous and ample blessing.
For me, the appeal of It’s a Wonderful Life has always been the reminder it gives me. I get frustrated, I get angry, I get overly focused on the “could have been’s,” instead of being appreciative of what I do have and of what has been. I can identify with George Bailey in his despair, but I find myself also wanting to lecture him about his inherent worth and importance as he realizes, with Clarence’s help, how much his life has impacted the lives of others. “See, George,” I say with an air of superiority. “You are important, you have just forgotten!” In truth, I am saying these things to myself…reminding myself that God has a plan for my life and that I am a valuable part of His design.
It would help each of us if we would stop for a moment and think about how rich we are in this life. We have a God who has called us and ordained us from the foundation of the world. He has designed a place for us in the fabric of this life. Heed Clarence’s words of wisdom when he says, “Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
We have friends and family who love us. We have impacted the lives of other people. We have made more of a difference than we realize. We matter because God has made us to matter. He has given us a wonderful life to live. Don’t waste it with regret. Don’t let the mythical “holiday blues” get you to focus on insignificant things from your past. Remember… it truly is a WONDERFUL life!
It’s a Wonderful Life Trivia Questions
1. In what city did George Bailey live?
2. Which character lost $8,000?
3. How did George lose his hearing in one ear?
4. What is Clarence?
5. How did Clarence cleverly save George’s life?
6. What two friends share their names with two Sesame Street characters?
7. Who starred as George Bailey?
8. What did George dream of becoming?
9. What part of George’s house is always broken?
10. What did Clarence receive for accomplishing his mission?
**Find the answers on our Testimonies page**