Good morning. Close your eyes. Take a breath. I know this Christmas season doesn’t actually feel like it is here. Like it is happening right now. But it is. Something feels off this year for some reason. It doesn’t feel real, and I can’t put my finger on why. I have said this to a few people and they agree. Something feels different this year.
Last night we took the kids out on our annual trek to see the Christmas lights in town. We found a google map this year that someone created. It was supposed to take us to all the best-lit houses in the area. Well, it ended up being more confusing than helpful. It started to stress Mandy and I out a little bit. We started to miss the magic because we were so worried about following the map. We got it together though.
I won’t remember the map not working. I will remember finding the brightest house and turning to the radio station they have their lights connected too. I’ll remember my son climbing up front into my wife’s lap and just resting in her arms.
I’ll remember looking into the back of the van and seeing all 4 kids eyes lit up in the blue glow of this beautiful home.
I’ll remember my daughter asking for us to turn the Christmas music up louder because when it is quieter she can’t sing as loud. She just wanted to belt it out!
Maybe that is what is feeling weird about this year. Our country has had a tough year. We are not all on the same page. We are all trying to figure out where we are going. We are all trying to read the map, and I think we sometimes miss the fact that we are on an amazing and beautiful adventure in this country. We just finished an 8 year term from our first African-American President. That is amazing! One of the candidates for this past year was a woman! That is amazing. Of course there will be turmoil. Of course there will be disagreements, but I believe in what Martin Luther King said, “The moral arc of the universe bends towards justice.” I think that pull is from our creator. He is bending the moral arc of our universe towards Him.
We all know it seems time moves faster as we get older. I think God did this on purpose. I think it is because as we get closer to eternity, time slowly goes away. He is preparing us for the future, a future where there is no time. When we are little kids, a day felt like forever when we were waiting for Christmas. Now, it seems like last Christmas was just a few weeks ago and now it is here again. I imagine when I am 90, I will not be able to separate all the different memories into different times of my life. It will have all just been life. One big beautiful, painful, exhilarating, adventurous life. There won’t be past, present, and future life…there will just be life.
That is my prayer for you right now. That you will embrace life as it is now. Most likely if you are reading this you’re not a little kid and you’re not 90 years old. You are probably in that middle stage. The stage where you have kids yourself and you’re tired. You’re trying to find the Christmas lights on the map and getting stressed about it. You just want quiet sometimes. You just want a few minutes where someone isn’t hanging on you or asking for something. My prayer for you is that you embrace it.
These are the good ol’ days. Like right now. This moment. You’re not in the past or future, you are in the present. This is it. Right now.
The reason this year feels different is because there has never been a right now, it IS different. One day you will think back to right now and wish you could relive it.
Don’t re-live it later. Live it now. The lights are up. This is Christmas 2016. There will never be another. Hug your kids a little longer. Tell your wife that you love her and you always will. Tell your parents that you love them (I love you mom and dad 😃). Smile at your neighbor, even if their dogs drive you crazy.
I pray you embrace today because these are the good ol’ days.