Tuesday, November 18, 2014

how not to miss out during the holidays: This is Something.This is Nothing

It's only mid-November, but it seems like the holiday craze has already begun.

The kids have school Thanksgiving feasts and birthday parties and baseball tournaments and there is no end in sight to the running here and there and everywhere. Mr. Fantastic and I have two ministry trips out of the country (!!) on our calendar and community group stuff and tons of church fun coming up and our house could sell any day and we might have the joy of moving in the middle of Christmas. There are bad attitudes for days here and Christmas card photos to take and tough circumstances to wade through and lots of Turkey and pie in our future and happy Christmas decorating planned.

There is good and there is bad and all of it will work out one way or another and when tomorrow becomes yesterday, what will we hold dearest from the end of 2014?

I reach for the Light at the center of that question that quiets the noisiness of life.

Sunday afternoon was full of little lovely nothings. I lounged on the sofa reading a novel with book-loving children all around me. The Lady and I painted our nails on the bathroom floor. Boy 1, Boy 3, and I played cards in the kitchen. I painted a new canvas for our Christmas mantle (Boy 2 had lots to say about my work- he is my favorite critic). Mr. Fantastic came home late from meetings and we sat on the sofa and talked about important things and unimportant things and laughed a good deal at each other.

That old 1990s Saturday Night Live sketch about drama class plays out in my mind. I see Phil Hartman's jazz hands up and he is telling me, "This is something. This is nothing." Because all this is something and yet all this is nothing, and did Phil Hartman really echo Ecclesiastes? 

Yes, Phil. You're onto something. We hold life's drama loosely: 
"Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom." -Ecclesiastes 9:7-10
My jazz hands are prepped, you guys. I am ready for the holidays. Sort of. Kind of. Are you taking a deep breath like I am? Is the busiest happiest season of the year hard for you like it is for me?

Our great Shepherd leads us beside quiet waters and makes us lie down in green pastures full of His merciful provision. If we cling to the Light at the tippy-tip-toppiest place of this holiday season, we will not miss out on what is most precious. There is so much to celebrate, and all of it lies in who Christ is in us, through, and to us.

This truly is something. And we aren't going to miss a thing.

Jazz hands are up. Turkey is waiting. Presents are soon-to-be wrapped. Happy {almost} Holidays, friends.

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