A Christmas Carol is not simply my favorite Christmas story but my favorite story of any kind – of all time.
It was my stepfather who, one Christmas, first introduced me to the book. I was 11 years old. So enamored by the story, I read the book over and over. To this day, it has become my annual ritual to begin reading the story five days before Christmas, one stave per day, completing the book by Christmas Eve.
As a kid growing up in the 1970’s, our family tradition on Christmas Eve was to stay up until near midnight to watch the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol on television, starring Reginald Owen. Now, there are countless versions of this classic tale of one man’s change and redemption (everyone has their own personal favorite) and a multitude more adapted for the stage. Of the films, I think I’ve seen nearly all of them – from silent shorts, animated features, every incarnation of television adaptation (Mr. Magoo’s, Mickey’s, Jetson’s, Flintstones, Married with Children, Bewitched, so many more), musicals and the 1958 classic starring Alistair Sim (universally regarded as the best version of the story). Still, our family favorite was Reginald Owen, and we watched that film faithfully every year with our cups of hot chocolate and holiday cookies. To this day, I watch the 1938 Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve.
I love all stories of second chances, hope, forgiveness and redemption, sagas that show us that no matter our past, our foolish missteps or the valuable time that we may have wasted in our lives, it is never too late to change, to somehow make amends, be productive, be a blessing to others and live out our divine purpose in life.
It has been said that change is the hardest thing for anyone to do. Yet, a medicine man I once studied under in Tucson, countered that belief by saying, “Change is easy. It’s not the hardest thing anyone can do. People can change overnight if they want.” Snapping his fingers, he continued, “It’s a snap. It’s a decision. You just have to decide to change.”
To be sure, the dramatic change that overtakes Scrooge, a man so injured by the world that he shuts himself off from all of its human concerns, is, indeed, an overnight one, a spiritual transformation that not only brings solace to his personal anguish but also (like It’s A Wonderful Life) demonstrates how one man’s life can have such impactful effects on the lives of others. For Scrooge, it wasn’t too late to change, to redeem himself, to contribute and be a blessing to the world. He is, as anyone can be, reborn!
Still, no one can change if they don’t want to change. Indeed, it is clear to me that even Scrooge wanted to change. Deep, deep, deep inside, he longed for change, a rebirth, but, like most of us, didn’t know how or where to even begin. Scrooge had retreated so deeply into his own protective shell that he had forgotten his dreams and the man he originally wanted to be. It would be difficult for me to imagine that, as a child, young Scrooge dreamed of becoming the “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner” that he eventually evolved into as an old man. No, somewhere deep in his heart, Scrooge wanted to change and it was the desperate desire of his soul that called upon the spirits of Christmas to come in and save him. With his wondrous transformation, Scrooge was able to live out the remainder of his life fulfilled and at his highest potential. For Scrooge, it wasn’t too late.
It’s never too late for any of us. Like Scrooge, many of us have wasted time, lots of time and we’ve compromised our dreams, our purpose in life, to doubt, guilt, fear and anger. But, if we want, we can all change overnight, with but a snap of our fingers. Like Scrooge, also, we have to want to change.
The Ghost Warrior fire ceremony is a powerful life changing ritual embracing overnight change, one that asks those seeking transformation, to shed those parts of themselves that have only hurt them in their quest to fulfill their purpose and to give birth to the person they have always dreamed of becoming, the one who lives our their divine mission through the bold pursuit of their dreams. All it takes is a decision to change the course of our lives and have faith in the divine voices that call out to each and every one of us every day. Here, at Ghost Warrior Dreamquest, we look forward to our upcoming Ghost Warrior Ceremony in January. Spots for this event will be limited so contact email@example.com for details.
God Bless us, everyone!