GOIN’ ON A SLEIGH RIDE!

It’s that time of year to pull out the sleigh at the first sight of flurries and run to the top of a hill. There is something about a sleigh. It makes the cold not only bearable but fun and brings laughter to all ages. The sleigh has been around for a very long time.

Many believe the Egyptians invented the first sled around 2300 B.C. (No, it was not the Greeks.) The original sleigh was obviously not used for fun in the snow but it was still a welcomed sight. Slaves pushed and pulled the sleighs across the first paved roads to haul stones from quarries while constructing pyramids for the Pharaohs, much easier than rolling them on logs or lifting them with straps. 

Artifacts of a horse drawn sleigh used in snow, dating back to the 800s, were discovered in a Norwegian burial mound. The elaborate burial was presumedly that of a Norwegian queen. (The wooden sleigh is on display at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway.)

Russian royals and other members of the elite class traveled through the bitter cold and snowy terrain by ornate, horse drawn sleighs dating back to the 1600s. Mail carriers also used this form of transportation across the frozen tundra.

The early sleigh was even used to bring excitement. The earliest roller coasters descended from Russian winter sled rides held on specially constructed hills of ice, sometimes up to 200 feet tall. Catherine the Great even ordered an elaborate sleigh track to be built at her Oranienbaum Palace, for guests of coarse. The female leader never rode on it herself, way too dangerous for Russian monarch.

In the mid-1700s, fantasy sledges, carved and gilded, were created in which King Louis XV and later Marie-Antoinette were pulled over the snow-covered paths in the park of Versailles or the frozen waters of the Grand Canal.

In 1822, wealthy New York land developer, writer and American Professor of Oriental and Greek Literature, as well as Divinity and Biblical Learning, Clement Clarke-Moore wrote a Christmas poem for his children. Originally entitled “A Visit From Saint Nicholas,” the poem introduced the first image of Santa and his deer driven sleigh. It was published the next year anonymously. However, Mr. Clarke-Moore later included it in his published works. It became known as “Twas The Night Before Christmas.”

Whether used to lighten a load, travel through impassable terrain, give chills and thrills, deliver gifts to good boys and girls or used to impress or snuggle, this is the season for sleigh rides.

Dream interpreters claim that to dream of a sled may represent a playful attitude during a terrible situation. Alternatively, a sled may be a sign that you are enjoying yourself a lot while a negative situation is completely settling.

Each season brings its own unique quality and purpose. Some look at Winter as a time things die out and lay dormant. Winter has the shortest days and the lowest temperatures. Trees and plants stop growing and many animals hibernate or migrate away from the colder temperatures. The Winter season is a time to rest, reflect and rejuvenate. It is a time to BE STILL and KNOW that GOD IS IN CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE no matter your situation. It is a time to have faith and hope. 

Psalm 46:10 - He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

It was during this recess time that God delivered Christ to us; Christ - The Anointed One, Emmanuel - God With Us, Jesus - God Saves.

It could not have been much worse for God’s people before the birth of Jesus. Talk about a terrible situation. They were taxed excessively, suppressed, targeted, ridiculed, and mistreated. Their own spiritual leaders were robbing them blind and condemning them. That is when God showed up. HE made a way where there seemed to be no way. God sent us a savior. 

This is not only a time of waiting and resting but a time for great celebration.

Luke 2:10  “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”

Pull out the sleighs! With the birth of Jesus, God has lifted the heavy load of living under the law and made a way for all of us. HE has given joy that surpasses all understanding. Celebrate this entire Christmas season; bake cookies, send cards or make calls to people who have touched your life. Play music of praise and thanksgiving. Let your light shine in your neighborhood. Play your favorite holiday cd. Get outside and go for a sleigh ride! Whether your sleigh is on blades or wheels. Spread some Christmas cheer! You don’t have to have a partner to enjoy and appreciate the season. It will do your heart good.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength." -Proverbs 17:2

This time of year is a reminder to all of us that God sees, HE knows, HE cares. God has a plan for us. HE HAS A PLAN FOR YOU! 

GOD WILL INTERCEDE! He will make a way where there seems to be no way! NOW THAT IS SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE! 

Come on!  I'M GOING ON A SLEIGH RIDE!