Sunday, December 23, 2012

when christmas slips from your hand

yesterday i felt christmas.  

no shopping to do.  no major meals to prepare.  no travel plans to execute.  no looming deadlines standing between me and december 25th.

instead of being faced with a long list of responsibilities and obligations i was faced with my little family, at home...with a refrigerator full of food, a Christmas tree covered in lights, a closet shelf filled with gifts,  a warm blanket to cuddle under, and a heart filled with peace.
today christmas slipped from my hands.

in an instant i let the world steal it away.  

i want to scream.  i want to cry.  i want the demands and the questions and the needs that surround me to stop.  i want quiet.  i want alone.  i want to be able to turn my back on this world that falls apart and needs putting back together...this world that i can never quite get comfortable in. 

my peace is replaced with anxiety...worrying over problems that seem to need an immediate solution.  
my joy is replaced with oppression...the weight of my responsibilities crashing down on me.
my hope is replaced with fear...fear that i will step into january with more than i can manage.
my love is replaced with bitterness...frustration over the way i am feeling burdened by others.

but this is advent...the season of anticipating not what january will bring but of who God will send.  
these are the days of placing ourselves back into the freedom that was born into a stable in bethlehem, not into the burdens of the future.

these hours of preparation have much less to do with baking, shopping, and opening gifts...and much more to do with resting, worshiping, and opening our hearts.

the refrigerator, the closet, the tree...even the blanket...they all provide this false sense of being 'ready' to celebrate a day that changed the world forever.

i felt christmas yesterday but today is better...

today i need christmas.

when the feelings are gone and we are left with the reality of this fickle, fleeting life we grow desperate for christmas.  we grow desperate for the hope, peace, joy, and love that can only be found in the One whose heavenly being breathed human breath.

and suddenly the air around me is sweet enough to breathe in again...i'm no longer suffocating.  i'm letting go of the christmas i try to create and grabbing hold of the one that was already created for me.