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Let faith, hope, love guide you this season
Senior moments
Rich DeLong is the executive director of The Suites at Station Exchange in Richmond Hill. - photo by File photo

“Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to.” That is one of the more famous lines from the 1947 film, “Miracle on 34TH Street.”
I never get tired of watching this movie. John Payne, who plays Fred Gailey, the lawyer defending good ol’ Kris Kringle, makes this statement midway through the film as he sets out to prove that Edmund Gwenn, who plays Santa Claus, is the real deal.
The movie is a genuine holiday classic, and I usually watch it several times a year.  Why? I think the values and underlying foundation of faith, hope and love woven into this film help make it special.
In his biography, Payne admits that “Miracle on 34TH Street” is his favorite film of all time, which reflected his own strong and spiritual belief system. Payne persuaded 20 Century Fox to film the movie, which he helped finance.
And although the film’s focus is squarely on the character of Santa Claus, there is a deeper, more penetrating sentiment regarding this story.  
We all want to believe in something. In fact, we need to believe in something to have hope, especially as we navigate through this great, big world. When we stop believing, we lose hope. When we lose hope, we have a difficult time expressing and feeling love. The end result is one of anger and hatred.
Take, for example, all the recent turmoil our country has experienced. Many of the people expressing their discontent have lost faith in one or more of our systems of government. This has left many with desperate feelings of hopelessness and anger.  Right or wrong, everyone has an opinion, and perception is reality for most people.
So where do we go from here?
Webster’s defines faith as a firm belief for which there is no proof. So why then are we placing our faith in the things we can see, smell and touch? When someone tells you he has faith in your ability to get the job done right, what he’s really conveying is his high expectations of success. And when we fail to meet those goals, folks get upset with us.
How many coaches lose their job every year? Plenty. Why? Unmet goals and expectations.
How many times in our life will we lose faith in someone or something? Again, the answer is plenty. Why? Because it’s quite human to fall short of expectations.
Back to the movie. Fred Gailey continues with his defense of Old Saint Nick. “Don’t you see? It’s not just Kris that’s on trial — it’s everything he stands for. It’s kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles.”
Now we’re getting somewhere. My guess is that “all the other intangibles” include things like peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  These are, after all, the fruit of the Spirit. When we place our sincere faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we can be sure that our belief in him will bring us hope, and our hope will yield to us a love that is broader and deeper than what we could ever imagine. That means no matter how great or many our disappointments may be, our faith will keep us in a spirit of reverence.
“Three things will last forever — faith, hope and love — and the greatest of these is love.”
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Call DeLong at 912-531-7867 or go to

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