This life. This speedy, rapid, life….
Could it go any faster? I’m afraid to ask that question because I think I already know the answer.
I was standing at the base of a volcano a month ago with the blackest sand I’ve ever seen. I bent down but, I hardly was able to pick any of it up. It was so fine that I was barely able to get any off of the ground before it trickled back down to the dried lava below.
Isn’t that life? It’s what it feels like at the moment. I feel like I’m grasping at anything and everything as it’s rushing by, just trying to hold onto something, and it just runs through your hands. Runs out the sides. And in a flash you’re holding nothing but air once again.
I long for the permanent. We long for something lasting and it just speeds on by without any second thought.
The greatest days. The weddings. The birthdays. The vacations. The travels. The holidays. You’re looking forward to those extraordinary days/weeks for so long. And before you even realized what’s happening, the aisle is being walked down, you’re driving in your car or boarding your plane at the airport and bursting with excitement. It’s finally here, you think.
Then, seemingly the next moment, the night ends. The week ends. And the time that you were so looking forward to has come. And has gone.
I think that is why that I so long for Christmas. And for me why Christmas has become such a symbol to me of what I hope and dream for in this life, whether or not they will ever come true.
Christmas music. Garland. Multi-colored lights. Stockings. Turkey cooking in the oven. John Lennon on the radio. Frank Sinatra. Celine Dion. It all represents something.
It stands for hope. For continuity. For life to matter. For suffering to be worth it. For family and friends to be cherished and enjoyed. To have some sort of stability in this life. To know that even though another year has come and gone, that the year past hasn’t been wasted, but has been savored and that growth has taken place.
And that for one short time, that time would slow its relentless march onward. That the elderly and the kids wouldn’t grow another year older and that all will be able to be paused, even if for one short minute.
But, it never does. December 26 always comes no matter how hard one kicks and screams and hopes that it won’t.
Thankfully though, there’s the other reminder. That Christmas is about the lowly monarch from above. That He’s come. And that He’s here.
No matter the unstoppable progress of the calendar and the clock, it tells us that there is a purpose to it all. Because of Christmas, the ages that go by so quickly, well, they will mean something. They can be redeemed. Indeed, they already have.
The time in which seems to never stop, and the parts of life that we, (or I) never seem to get a grasp on, He’s already making them new.
I don’t have to hold them in my hand, in order for them either to matter, or to be okay. No matter how quickly life seems to hurry by, He’s here. For every day that goes so incredibly slowly. And for every year that flashed by. He’s here. He’s guiding.
Isn’t that what we want? A warm fireplace, out from the cold, by candle light with the soft light of a tree, (preferably multi-colored). With a feast on the table. With cups full. With the joy of music in the background. With friends and family who know us intimately, there waiting to greet you. With those same people, who WANT you there. Who would think it just wouldn’t be the same if you weren’t there.
For me, I see that only as another foreshadowing of the great feast to come. In the great dining room big enough to hold us all at the feast at the end of time. When time has stopped. When there is no longer an end. And when as the hymn says, “we’ve no less days, than when we’ve first begun.”
For now, I’ll play my Christmas music while it’s overcast, cold, and snowy and dream of the not yet, but with the knowledge and the hope of the what will be one day.
There’s hope. Hold on. The feast comes.
Until then… enjoy the lights.