This is the time of year we find ourselves watching some old favorite holiday movies. One not so traditional holiday classic is Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The many hilarious scenes in this movie sometimes detract from the true message of the movie.

 

Neal Page (played by Steve Martin), is a marketing executive who is on a business trip in NYC and is on a quest to get home to Chicago for Thanksgiving.  Neal is very much focused on himself and his end destination. Along the way, he is joined by an unexpected companion, traveling shower curtain ring salesman, Del Griffith (played by John Candy), who does all that he can to help Neal get home. Needless to say, all that Del does to assist Neal seems to go wrong.

 

After a three-day ordeal, Neal is finally on the last leg of his journey alone when he realizes that Del does not have a family or home to return to. This is when Neal’s focus shifts from himself and he decides to go back to find Del. It’s then that he finds Del sitting alone in the train station with just his trunk of clothes.

 

Neal then invites Del into his home so that Del is able to feel the love of family for Thanksgiving.

Where is Your Focus?

Do you find yourself primarily focused on your own wants and needs to the point of missing the needs of others around you? It is very easy to do, given the numerous tasks and responsibilities on your shoulders.

 

The Christmas season provides a great model and reminder on how we should be focused on others above and beyond ourselves. God sent His son Jesus to provide for us as our personal Savior. Do you think Jesus wanted to come down into this sinful world, showing up in a barn among the animals? Probably not! But He thought about others above and beyond Himself.

Serving Others This Season

The model Jesus provided is to humble ourselves and serve others. Some ideas on how to do this include:

  • Be present and approachable enough that you are hearing when there are needs to be met
  • Have a recognition and encouragement day with your team where everyone specifically looks for ways to thank and encourage teammates
  • Pick a charity or organization that your team can bless with time, talent, and treasures
  • Serve food or provide gifts for those less fortunate
  • Visit a nursing home to spend some time with folks that might not have family in the area
  • Shovel someone’s driveway with no expectation for something in return
  • Send Christmas cards to military personnel who are overseas
  • Deliver cookies to the fire station, police station, or hospital on Christmas day

 

If you really want to follow Jesus’ model, we need to do these types of things all year long!

 

As we get closer to Christmas Day, I encourage you to reflect on all that Jesus has done for you, His humility through it, and the love that He continues to show each day. Make this the year you re-commit to leading Jesus’ way and follow His model of servant leadership.

 

How might you go about serving others within your sphere of influence during the Christmas Season?

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For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

– Isaiah 9:6

 

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