Pay attention to things that matter

Herb Day Contributing columnist

Herb Day Contributing columnist

Christmas with our children and grandchildren is something we always look forward to each year, and this past weekend was ground zero for this year’s event. I say ground zero, because it usually looks like an explosion took place when it’s over. However, if I complain about it much, guess who gets nuttin’ for Christmas.

This year’s event was a little different because it was extended to an overnight stay for eight of 12 of our grandchildren … and I survived. Almost unscathed.

The sound barrier was only broken a few times, not a single neighbor called the police, and while I did find some M&Ms in places you’re not supposed to find M&Ms, so far, I haven’t found food stuffed in my house shoes or coat pockets. I call that a victory.

I managed to snap several photos of my wife Patty, a very proud mother and grandmother in the height of her glory. It was priceless. In fact, it went so well this year I think I’ll keep them for another year.

I can’t help but acknowledge that I am a truly blessed man. God has blessed my life with a Savior, a wonderful wife, terrific children, grandchildren who don’t yet see my flaws, an unbelievable church family, plenty to eat (yeah, I’m stuffed) and countless people whose friendship I cherish. Many were the times I prayed that I could become the man my dog thinks I am. Did you ever notice that no matter how others feel about you, your dog is always happy to see you and wants to stay near you? I haven’t quite achieved that, but I think I am as close as I can get.

Although you must be careful what you wish for. My brother once lived in an area that was so filled with mischief that he asked for a watchdog that would bite him, and he found one. He had to fight his way into his house when he arrived home and engage in mortal combat with the dog trying to get to his vehicle to go to work. Brother learned quickly to be careful about what you wish for.

While I would give anything I could for just five minutes with my parents and other loved ones I spent so many Christmases with, I wouldn’t trade the people I have been blessed with for anything.

Troubles and problems in life come and go, but most are temporary and just a part of life. As I watched the family in action over the weekend, all those troubles and problems seemed to fade into the background, and for the exception of the short period of time I watched the Bengals football game, the weekend was trouble free.

As I watched our grandbabies running and playing, I thought about another little baby who was born for the expressed purpose of dying — dying for you and me. I can’t imagine the unspeakable joy and sadness that Jesus’ mother had to feel knowing that her baby, God’s Son, was here on a mission, and that mission would lead to the cross. She had no way of knowing that while it would appear the cross was the end, it was only the beginning. It was a beginning that would open the gates of Heaven to all who accept the gift of his love and sacrifice.

When you put things in that perspective, yeah, my problems and troubles are only temporary and don’t deserve the attention we pay them.

Let’s use our time paying attention to the people and things that deserve our time and attention. What about the return? How can you measure untethered, unconditional love? Look up. Jesus measured it when he opened his arms wide and gave His everything for you and me.

Merry Christmas.

Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at and

Herb Day Contributing columnist Day Contributing columnist