Scrooge Driving a Tank
Every year I watch at least one version of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. By far my favorite stars Alastair Sim as Scrooge. He is both ideally mean and believable. I attempted to watch the version with George C. Scott as Scrooge but could never get past his role as Patton. At any moment I fully expected Scrooge to roll down the streets of London in a tank on his way to take out Bob Cratchit’s house.
This year I did something I have never done: read the book! Though I did complete it, after a few pages I was reminded that I do not speak “Charles Dickens” very well. Often I would read an entire paragraph only to realize I had no idea what it meant. The power of “context” and familiarity with the story pulled me through.
I want to share a passage from the book and if you have never read it or at least watched the movie (Scrooged with Bill Murray does not count…not even close.), then I may lose you for moment but hold on, the principle is awesome.
To briefly set this up, Scrooge is being escorted by the Spirit of Christmas Past and now taking watch over the company Christmas party thrown by his boss, Mr. Fezziwig when Scrooge was young in his career. While watching the replay of the party, Scrooge took leave of his senses and forgot he was mean and nasty and enjoyed the party.
Charles Dickens describe Scrooge’s state as “His heart and soul were in the scene, and with his former self. He corroborated everything, remembered everything, enjoyed everything and underwent the strangest agitation.”
At that moment, the Ghost commented “A small matter to make these silly folks so full of gratitude.” Scrooge, again forgetting his ornery-self, disagreed with the Ghost. Here is what Scrooge said in Fezziwig’s defense:
“It isn’t that” said Scrooge, heated by the remark, and speaking unconsciously like his former, not his latter self. “It isn’t that, Spirit. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that this power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count ‘em up; what then? The happiness he gives is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.”
I love that exchange. In a moment of clarity, Scrooge realized the impact of the powerful positive influence Mr. Fezziwig had into the lives of his employees. Fezziwig VALUED others. It was no small thing what Fezziwig did for those he led. Mr. Scrooge basically said it was priceless.
In many ways can’t the same be said of you and me?
In Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi he wrote:
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” (Phil. 4:8-9, MSG)
Daily we have the opportunity to render people happy or unhappy; to lighten their load; to help make their life a pleasure not a toil. Do we not have the power to see the best in people; to perceive their potential regardless of their behavior? Do we remind them and our hearts that God loves them as much as He loves us; that He has a plan for them, just as He has for us?
I Corinthians 15:57, NIV “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jesus was an indescribable gift willing to die for our sins. Rising again on the third day willing and able to live in our hearts today.
Merry Christmas to all and “God bless us every one!”
Topics: Encouraging Words