Have you ever desperately craved the kind of food that really doesn’t agree with your body? Maybe Chinese Food? Or Mexican? Maybe spicy Barbecue?? Sometimes you love the taste SO much that you decide to eat it anyway, consciously taking on the consequences. The aftermath bay be rough, but it was worth it because you got to savor the taste of food you love yet rarely get!
That’s what happened to me over Thanksgiving! I was SO excited to have all our family gathered, to try out our new “Family Retreat”, to enjoy several days of uninterrupted laughter, conversations, desserts, and just “being” together in the same place. I had craved it for months, looked forward to it in anticipation, enjoyed every moment I could squeeze out of it… and then can the price tag. UGH!!! I knew I’d pay the price with a messy house, tons of uneaten leftovers, loads of sheets & towels to wash… but I didn’t expect the FLU!!!
It hit me hard, beat me to a pulp, and even though I’m still not totally out from under its claws, I can still say with a smile that it was worth every minute!!
That’s kind of what I witness every year in my congregations during Advent. I see the anticipation in the eyes of eager children, maybe a bit of desperation in the eyes of the adults. I feel the hustle and bustle of preparations in the grocery stores, and the excitement of carts full of gifts in the big box stores. It all seems to pick up pace about this time of December, growing throughout these weeks. Then the beauty of the night, the quiet of the stillness, the light growing to encompass us all in worship, the moments of sharing, of telling, of loving that surround Christmas for each of us.
Yes, there will be trash to clean-up, gifts to return, sheets and towels galore needing laundering, and maybe even a bug or too. But it is all worth it in the end… because LOVE comes down on Christmas, and it can change us every time!!