Life Notes: Perspective — it’s a humbling thing


 These are Canada’s names for ‘ding dong ditch’. Others are ‘ring run’ and ‘knock-a-door-run’. Remember when you used to ring someone’s doorbell and run away before they could answer? Was that just me? It was definitely before doorbell cameras. In America, we call that ‘ding dong ditch’.

And that is the premise of my holiday season plans. I am ready to have some fun – good old, clean, childhood fun! My plan is to combine ‘ding dong ditch’ with blessing someone’s socks off during the 2020 holiday season.

In the midst of this lock down, distanced, mask-wearing culture, I am planning a coup (cue evil bwahaha laugh).

I’m tired of complaining. I’m tired of all the ‘don’t’s’. I’m tired of the negativity and divisiveness.  I just don’t care for any of it, any more. But, most of all, I’m tired of just hanging on, waiting for it all to pass. I am on a mission to be the light of the world during this holiday season . . . or at least on my block. I am about to turn this pandemic on its tail and become counter-cultural!

Here’s my plan:

  1. Set my goals:
  • Have fun
  • Bless my neighbors
  • Be contagious (in joy, not the other stuff)
  • Make myself available to my neighbors
  • Involve my young adult kids (the toughest part)
  1. Brainstorm ideas:
  • Who are my neighbors?
  • What can I do for them that is safe, helpful or fun?
  • How do I let them know that I’m here for them whether it’s for a cup of sugar, to store their kids’ presents until Santa comes, or for some needed prayer?
  1. Develop a plan and a schedule
  2. Buy or make the things
  3. Implement the plan while dragging my kids along

Simple enough. Now to follow through. That’s actually why I’m writing this in a very public place. I need the accountability because it’s way too easy to have good intentions that lead nowhere.

My real motivation is that I really care about people AND I really want to make a difference in my small world AND I want people to know me as their Christian friend – even if they don’t know what that means. You know . . . be a good neighbor.

We live in a small enough community where we actually have the power to make a difference. Jesus REALLY cared about people (to the point of death). He certainly made a difference (for all eternity). He was extremely intentional about making Himself available to others who needed a friend or a neighbor. He particularly cared about the lowly, the disenfranchised, the forgotten, the lonely, the sick, the widowed, the orphaned, the lost.

When challenged by an antagonist about the most important thing to God, He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and most important command.And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39 ERV)

Seems simple enough. I’m going to focus on those two things. I’m going to minimize everything the world is trying to push on me and make this my daily priority.

I can set my agenda. I can determine my attitude and priorities. I can choose joy and kindness. I can choose to not be a victim of my circumstances. Anyone else want to be counter-cultural with me? I hope to look back on January 1, 2021 and say to myself, “THAT was fun. THAT was meaningful.”

Don’t just be a neighbor; be a good neighbor.

“Ding dong!”

Sylvia Gaston is the Pastor of Connection and Development at Koinonia Church. She can be reached at



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