This year a particular scene stood out for me. At the end of the movie Scrooge commits to changing his ways and be a more caring and giving person. He then plays a trick on Bob Cratchet the day after Christmas. Scrooge tells him that because of his lateness there is no other alternative than to raise his salary. Cratchet is obviously confused by the statement and Scrooge says that he has not lost his senses but rather found them. The whole exchange with Bob Cratchet makes Scrooge quite giddy. He comments "I don't deserve to be so happy, I just can't help it"
This notion that I don't deserve something good is all too common. I believe so many of us walk around thinking just that. We have convinced ourselves that whatever great opportunities or success we desire are beyond our grasp simply because we think we don't deserve it. We give up on dreams as a result and resign ourselves to mediocrity.
This attitude carries over into our relationship with God as well. I don't deserve God to make my life better. I don't deserve to have my prayers answered. I don't deserve all the gifts and goodness that I actually do have. I don't deserve God's love.
The truth is that we don't. We don't deserve. However that is a refreshing reality. The blessings and opportunities that life offers us are gifts. Thankfully the world doesn't merely run on merit alone. Of course there is merit in this life and so much depends on our efforts. However the overwhelming majority of the wonderful gifts in our life are precisely that, gifts. What did I do to deserve such an amazing father? What did I do to deserve his unending love? Did I do anything to deserve my seven wonderful children? What could I possibly have done to deserve the ability to see, speak, hear and think?
Ebenezer was right, he didn't deserve to be so happy. But that didn't prevent him from being so. On the contrary, he cant help but be happy. I don't deserve any of the gifts in my life. I can only help choose to appreciate them or not. I don't have to quit and give up on striving for more just because I convince myself I don't deserve it. I just have to try and be thankful for the opportunity life gives me. I didn't deserve my dad but I can't help but be happy with the wonderful memories and love he gave me.