Today’s post is the monthly reflection from the December 2007 issue of  The Front Porch Newsletter.  If you would like to automatically receive The Front Porch e-newsletter on the last Thursday of each month just click here to sign-up for your complimentary subscription.

polar-expressIn 1992, a friend gave my 5-year-old son, Ryan, a copy of the book The Polar Express. She said each Christmas she would choose one child with whom to share this book — and that year that child was Ryan. We decided that Christmas Eve to gather everyone to read the story. And for many years after, it became one of the non-negotiable Christmas Eve traditions of our family.

This little boy’s adventure to the North Pole was made all the more exciting when he was chosen, by Santa, to receive the first gift of Christmas. He could choose any gift — but all he wanted was a bell from Santa’s sleigh. It is a heart-warming story. But my favorite part was always the last page of the book — the only page that fast-forwards to years later when the little boy is reflecting back as an old man: At one time most of my friends could hear the bell, but as the years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah (his sister) found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me as it does for all who truly believe.

One of the most telling questions in Silent Alarm is near the end: Are you willing to start — alone. The little boy of The Polar Express was willing to look foolish to still hear the bell. And while they are not likely to be Santa’s bells, I am convinced that many of us have silent alarms being ignored in our life because we choose not to hear the alarm bells. Maybe because they will require us to take actions that others aren’t willing to take. And, in doing so, we just might look foolish — alone.

My wish for our New Year is that we hear the silence of the alarms in our life.

Singer Josh Groban was chosen to record the theme song, Believe, for The Polar Express. CLICK HERE to see Josh singing BELIEVE in concert. May it provide you just a glimmer of inspiration to be willing to start — alone — in this New Year!