Our world is a big mess. I don’t have to explain that to any of you, do I? It’s been a mess and it’s getting so much worse. It’s overwhelming and nothing short of a horror story. I am not a horror movie fan, but mostly I think why bother? Just watch CNN. I don’t need anything more to scare me than real life.
And it can get to the point where I don’t want to leave my house. Heck, my room! I want to snuggle my girls and watch endless episodes of Curious George where every mistake is turned from potential disaster to cheerful serendipities and all within 25 minutes or less. I want to keep my girls in their pink pajamas with rabbit footies and sing sweet nonsense songs all day long.
I can’t, though. Not if I’m being a normal person. I mean, can you picture this happening for 20 years? Haha. Talk about PSYCHO MOM. I’m too realistic for that. Plus we need to eat. And sleep. And neither of those things happen very well when we’re in our room.
So what do we do? We shield as much as we can. It’s the role of a parent to be the filter for awhile anyway. We try to not be crazy with fear or anger or hatred or darkness. We know those things are powerful and can drive us to desperation. But we also know a higher Power, the One who has never lost control and only reveals over time and through new eyes that are willing to see the whole picture, not just the pretty parts.
So what do we do? I think the answer is in one word, one verb that makes its appearance over and over, commanding attention and dedication. I think it’s this: REJOICE.
I think it’s celebrating the peace and beauty of our moments. I think it’s focusing on the good. I think it’s reveling in harmony and positive reinforcements of wise choices and kindnesses along the way. I think it’s loving and holding each other with pure, simple joy in the very existence of someone so precious and lovely. I think it’s purposing to take pleasure in (because we have learned to number) our moments and our days. I think it’s in reminding ourselves that Jesus came to give us LIFE and freedom and comfort and joy. In this season, we must take the gift. We must take the Giver. And it comes wrapped in HOPE and TRUTH and LIGHT and JOY, but it’s the kind of wrapping you don’t throw out. It’s the kind that you reuse on someone else’s gift because it’s THAT beautiful and glorious. It’s the kind that is a gift itself, the kind that can serve as decoration, a reminder of all the wonder and magic in the world. It’s the kind of wrapping that glistens from afar, begging us to come closer and sneak a peak inside. It’s the best kind of gift, because it’s beautiful in and out and lasts all year, and a lifetime. JOY-filled peace. JOY-filled comfort. JOY-filled moments and days. It’s knowing we know the way the story ends. It’s knowing we can be glad in it.
So I purpose to kick off the holiday seasons, thankful and joyful, with the family, focused on making memories and finding beauty and hope around every corner. We seek it out. We pray for it. We long for redemption, and we know its fullness is still far off, but we watch it unfold in even the smallest of ways every day when we look for it. And I pray that my girls will learn to seek the kingdom, the glorious gleaming city, in every place and every face they see. It is there. Aslan is on the move. And soon it will be Christmas…