Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Reason for the Season

It's Christmas time once again, and the New Year is almost upon us. That lovely time of the year when the first school term winds down, Papa takes time off work, and we all hang out together remembering the birth of Jesus as we enjoy our Christmas tree lights and plan gifts and get excited about the holidays, and the impending new year.

Very soon I shall bid goodbye to 2010 and welcome all the new challenges of 2011. I asked myself what those challenges were... and then I realized that in essence there are no new challenges, just the same old ones that carry forward through the years, at least that's how it works for me. There are no new resolutions, just the same ones that have plagued me for some time now.

Hardly cause to celebrate, I know. The fact that my imperfections haven't gone away. The fact that some of the things that troubled me 5, or 10 years ago still trouble me today. The fact that I might just grow really old and keel over the same person, having never really changed much over time.

But what's so bad about that anyway? I'm 43 years old. I've lived half my life. This old dog isn't learning any new tricks. I don't even know if I even want to learn any new tricks. Half the time I just want to roll over and play dead because I'm just so bone tired and weary and fed up of life, and the world seems like a depressing place with terrible injustice and poverty plaguing millions... but I digress. This is supposed to be about me :)

I think that for me this year, 2010, I want to thank God for me. Yes, for plain ol' me. For the rough edges, the imperfections, the failings, the weaknesses. I am grateful. Yes, I am indeed. Without all of them in my life I wouldn't need the grace of God or His love and mercy to get me through the day. I would be so self reliant I wouldn't need anyone in my life at all. But the truth is I really do need God, and people, and the realization that I do reminds me that I am human.

I am just so incredibly human. Frail. Fragile. Feeble. On so many levels. Like baby Jesus in the nativity scene, wrapped in swaddling clothes. And yet within him lay immense love, great hope and tremendous peace. Can one hold both joy and sorrow and not break? Apparently, one can.

Sometimes I feel so conflicted, and a little lost with my feelings. I sincerely intend to convey goodwill and charity and for love to emanate from my very pores, but that doesn't always happen. I know that many times I am just too tired to be nice. I want to be left alone. People exhaust me and tire me beyond belief, and yet even if they have no expectations of me, I have many expectations of myself.

Therein lies the trouble. I want to be many things that I am not always able to be. I feel inadequate. I feel guilty. I feel saddened. But at the heart of all that goes on this season, the very root of it all is truly love. The love of God shed abroad in our hearts and our lives through the gift of his Son. The love of family as we draw close and cherish each other and make our time special in our own way. The love of friends who share our lives and their love with us, and who bless us as we bless them.

The very love of God that compels me to love myself, just the way I am, despite whatever I may think of myself. The love of God that says to me that He loves me no matter what and nothing can ever separate me from the love of God. I am grateful, I am glad. I am me.

God's love. My reason for the season.

Have a Blessed Christmas, and a Very Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading.