What season is this for you this Christmas Eve? Is today just another day of the week? Is this annual holiday a very stress-filled weekend prepping for family and social activities? Are you isolated and separated from friends or family? Is this season filled with questions and moody reflections? Is the sun not shining in your soul today when others seem so filled with light, joy and peace? Are questions looming for the coming year that seem to have no answers on the horizon? Do the struggles and pains of the past still hover over your spirit when we are supposed to rejoice and be grateful? Do all the dreams, prayers and hopes for self and family appear to remain unanswered? Do you feel like you are walking hip-deep in thick mud as you try to move forward — even though, at gut level, you know all you need has truly has been generously given to you?
Well, dear friends, trust me . . . in my own insignificant way, I understand. So what shall we say to this? How shall we respond? To what end do I wave this sad flag before us?
I wave this flag to make a statement of what “reality” looks like to so many of us. And, now that I have waved it . . . I make a choice. I choose to throw this flag down in the mud that would try to seize me. I grab the hand of the One whose birth we celebrate this time of the year. And, though the life He gives us cannot be earned or made to indwell us, it is a gift we do have to embrace when offered.
So, what shall we do? Shall we stay as we are, walking in our own strength until it gives out; then regroup, reassess and recommit to walking again in our own strength? Shall we be like the gerbil on his wheel? Round and round we go, trying to make our way to somewhere beyond the now, only to repeat the path?
I for one am finished with this way of thinking. I know the days ahead will challenge me in ways I have not grappled with before; but I wish to break the cycle of this war for my soul. It is time, as my father loved to say, for me to “fish or cut bait.” I have been given all I need to choose to engage, to “fish” rather than be on the sidelines and just “cut bait” for others to use.
A small part of this soul searching is finally admitting I am as old as I am. The war for me has been to either accept I am “finished” and just waiting for my final meeting with my Best Friend, Jesus, or to press forward with what time He has apportioned to me and make up for any “lost time” the enemy of my soul would have me believe is all lost time!
My friends, if I can be of encouragement for just one of you, all this imprudent honesty will have been worth it all!! Let’s get rid of self-pity and discern between “service or slavery.” (But, that is for my next letter to you….hopefully soon!)
Meanwhile, I choose to give thanks; I choose to rejoice in all that I do have; I choose to turn my heart and soul once again to the One who gave His all so that I can do this without pretense and strain.
As I do, I find I “see” what is there with fresh eyes and heart . . . what carrying the wrong flag hid from me. I pick up the Lord’s flag that he gives me, that unique flag he has for each of us. I choose to wave his unvarnished flag of great expectation and hope into the year ahead.
May 2017 be a year of perceiving Truth as never before!!
Keep looking up,
© December 24, 2016