A friend of mine sent me a link (http://noradsanta.org/) to Norads Santa tracking website. Now, I had heard about this site in the past, but never visited it. This time, since the link was right in fornt of me, I clicked on it and went in. The site was delightful, and I recommend you visit it. Indeed, I intend sit down tonight (Christmas Eve) and show my 5 year old son this site. Thats very nice, you may be thinking, but what does this have to do with men?
I mention the Norad site, not because I am hoping to spot Santa tonight. Were all big boys here and while I still love Saint Nick, my belief in him is not what it was when I was five. I bring this site up because it says a lot about the goodness of men. Think about this. Here we have all these service men at a very important military installation. This is serious stuff. This is part of our heroic side: protecting others, risking our lives, handling dangerous weapons, fighting the good fight, comradeship in arms; in short, all the noble warrior part of being men. Side by side with this though, is this delightful excursion into play, this elaborate set-up whose sole purpose is to give joy to little children. The Norad site is well-developed, with information about how they track Santa, serious-sounding information about their technology, seemingly plausible explanations for how Santa operates (he lives in an alternate time-space continuum). One section appears to explain how Santa gets down chimneys, only to have you click on a link with a pop-up window saying they have no idea how Santa does it. The Norad site is basically grown men using their manhood for little boy ends.
When you think about it, it is beautiful. The Norad site is a perfect example of the magnanimity of men. Prodigal generosity. Gratuitous good will. Unabashed playfulness. All for the sake of delighting children. The world needs mens heroic side; 9/11 proved that. But it also needs this other, playful, big-hearted side of us. God gave his sons big hearts, full of both bravery and mirth. This is a good time of year to remember that. Let that big heart of yours, of all us men, swell so that Gods great goodness might find expression here in this world.
I said before that I dont believe in Santa the way I did as a little boy. But I still believe in him, because he is us. All of us men are Santa. Santa is the icon of our big-hearts, the other side of the hero.
Merry Christmas, brothers.
The Norad Site: http://noradsanta.org/