At animals.mom.com, they speak of the characteristics of oxen:
A calm temperament is one of the most important requirements for an ox. They must have a willingness to respond to commands and be content to do the same sort of work day after day so long as they are well-fed and cared for.
According to Jesus (and I have reason to trust Him), in Matthew 6:25-26, your heavenly Father will feed and care for you:
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Approaching the final pre-millennial festivities, I am reminded that technically, of course, Christmas is not the King’s birthday but instead appropriation by more secular exigencies; exigencies perhaps rendering the whole process moot. But is not equally moot, but certainly not merciful, a penchant for chastising another’s good intent, an intent that does no harm, according to Colossians 2?
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
That said, it is good to get facts straight nonetheless.
Whatever your conviction, whether for this feast day or for that, I proffer early my gift of verse (Luke 9):
49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. 50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.
The point is that everyone with good intent (no matter how it manifests), and who is doing no harm, is with us.
Even some (not all, of course) without proper intent are merely misled, awaiting conversion. Though they better hurry up.
Again, the point is you are working under duress making steady, if dour, progress and keeping your peace irrespective of the goings on about you. How else to develop that tenacious hide and protect that heart of pliable sense? That “willingness to respond to commands and be content to do the same sort of work day after day so long as they [you] are well-fed and cared for.”
Your mind sharp, your heart soft, … your hide necessarily thick.
But only if your heart is soft.
Therefore, this Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other occasion of good intent, recall one penitent who said:
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Innocent as a spring lamb, yes.
Be (also) like unto the oxen, brethren.