I guess it all started off with a Facebook comment I made earlier today. I think I said..
"Really need to get a haircut today! Don't know what's worse, sitting in the queue, having to make small-talk while he clips away, or having to pay a tenner for the dreadful experience!"
So, it was that I further explained in comments that if the hairdresser said, "Aye, this is a busy time for you", I'd be prepared to do time! My stock reply is something like, "No, Holy Week is busier!", or, "Aye, this is the only time of the year we work, you know."
By the time I arrived at the old-fashioned barber, I was all psyched up for it.... "Right Mr Macaulay, just cut out the grey ones will I?" Well, he always says that! I replied, "Just my usual, but without comments about this being my busy time of year." Ha! That pre-empted him!
However, we ended up having a quite amazing conversation about getting things at Christmas, and about how we should get what we need rather than what we want and be grateful for it. (His words, not mine) "Usually, I get what I need, and if I get what I want, too, then that's a bonus".
There then ensued a wee conversation on jealousy, and about being overly-concerned about what others got, or what others gave. This man should be preaching, you know! "As long as I get what I need, I'm not too bothered about what other people give or get. Good on them if they can afford it and it makes them happy. I'm happy that I get what I need, usually."
I'm glad I started the conversation the way I did, otherwise we'd have talked about the fitba' as usual.
I came away wondering, as I trailed the dogs around the park, about getting what we deserve. At Christmas we declare that we are given God's grace, epitomised in the Christ Child. A free gift of God's love for us, whether we deserve it or not. Just as well, because most of us deserve very little indeed, yet still that grace is bestowed on us.
Getting what we need, getting what we want, getting what we deserve. I think we would all do well to contemplate what that means for us as individuals. I think my wee barber is right, and I'll concentrate on me rather than what other folk give or get. It might even make for a happier Christmas!
The thing is that few of us get what we deserve, and we should be grateful for it!