Did a bit of traveling last week and into this one. Headed to
for a surprise 80th birthday party for my father in law. It was a good time and he was surprised. Nice. Sarasota
Somehow, someway on that trip I managed to catch a cold. Couldn’t have anything to do with being in crowded airports and aircraft could it? And now I’m feeling wiped out. Really wiped.
No energy. Plus I have a busy schedule.
When I look at my to do list for the next week or so I’m already overwhelmed.
Buy Christmas presents.
Prepare a talk.
Coordinate a Christmas party for 50.
Church staff party.
Assist at a Sunday service.
Plan and help execute a Christmas Eve service, a service on December 26 and another on January 2.
Be available to those going through the holiday blahs.
Several counseling appointments.
Sort presents at the Breakthrough Christmas Store.
And on top of that add the expectations of the holiday season to the mix.
Combine wiped out to overwhelmed, cap it off with a cold and stir it all around in an unhealthy mix of Christmas expectation and you’ve got the recipe for something quite ugly.
And so what does one do? The only sane thing to do is tend to the cold, do only what’s necessary and adjust expectations. But that’s the catch isn’t it? Am I willing to do what’s sane and in the process disappoint some people and perhaps even add to their already heavy burden? Or will I bravely walk towards what looks like a living insanity?
If the cold gets worse sickness will make some of the decisions for me. If it doesn’t I’ll probably do everything I’ve committed to do. That’s how I’m wired. But I’m not happy about it.
Something happens to me at Christmas. It’s not one of those ‘invitation to life’ times for me. I feel stretched beyond my comfort zone, a bit out of sorts, somewhat lonely (funny because I’m surrounded by people who love me) and a little scroogey. That’s the reality of the holiday season for me. And I don’t completely understand it.
I wonder if the complications of the season become just a reminder of what is almost a primordial call to ‘simplicity’ that seems to resonate in some deep ways deep in my heart. It’s something I yearn for. It’s that desire to move away from ‘doing’ and to just ‘be’. To be true to my own heart. To be true to how God has wired me. To be with God. To unplug. To rest.
And all that is possible for me. I have control of my calendar and my commitments. I know my capacity and what takes me beyond it all. I know how to care for a cold. And I know how to live sanely.
Perhaps that’s the gift I give myself this year. It’s a permission to live better, less rushed, with less frustration and with more intentionality. It’s a gift I promise myself each year. Maybe it’s time I delivered it.