Sunday, January 2, 2011

remember the mid-december days when you were ten

When I was a kid it seemed like Christmas would take its ol’ sweet time comin’ each year. I’d wait and wait and wait some more—still no Christmas. By the time December 23rd arrived I could hardly stand it.

Now in my adult years it seems like Christmas comes and goes too quickly.

Though waiting was harder as a child, in some respects it was easier--because I had no other choice than to wait. Children may seem impatient but we must admit: they do come by the habit of waiting honestly.

Nowadays waiting seems unreasonable.

“Why wait for something when I can have it now?” This question may be merely unconscious but I do recognize it is still resident in my heart and mind. Perhaps this is because I have become used to the quicker fulfillment of desire.

The world-system certainly does not help the situation. We enjoy ease of access to almost anything these days: food, information, feedback, even so-called “friendship” (think “Facebook”).

Just one month and one day before Christmas I could be found purchasing my wife’s birthday gifts online—just one day before her actual birthday. Notice: I had planned on this ease. I knew it would not take me long to buy her something, so I allowed very little time to do it.

Something is lost in this rush, is it not? Something of the richness of soul and spirit, something of thought. Meditation takes time. It cannot be done in 27 seconds.

On the phone a couple of days after Christmas: a friend laments the busyness of the pre-Christmas season. Too many things to do; so many activities. The season is frenzied. It goes by so quickly that we feel we must try to cram in as much as possible.

We never stop to think that cramming in as much as possible may be the very thing that makes it go by so quickly. It is better to do one simple thing through-and-through than to accomplish thirteen things halfway. It is better to be truly present in one place than to be emotionally absent in ten places.

Because of this, we often experience the true spirit of Christmas more in the weeks following Christmas day than in the weeks preceding.

I must admit, rush has become a deep-seated habit for me too. I am not immune to this disease. I want what I want without wait.

We cannot receive the present of patience with the click of a mouse button.

The latter half of last year felt like "waiting". My guess is: more waiting awaits in 2011. So…my prayer is to have the mindset to wait like a child again--not with dread but with joy, a drumbeat in my chest.

“Remember the mid-December days when you were 10.”

Can you relate to this? Do share.

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