Daily life for me right now, like many people who will read this, can be summed up in one word…drama.
Between the two deaths my wife has experienced in her family, an uncle and an aunt, the hectic practice and performance schedule of a church Christmas program and two performances, the massive workload of training a new assistant, setting up a new store location and converting to a new system’s programming, to the craziness that is this particular time of year with budgets, and money and on and on and on….drama. In the midst of all of this I find myself grasping for perspective.
I’m not seeking solutions. In many of the instances mentioned above, the offending circumstances will either work themselves out with time and patience or there simply is no solution. Add to all of the aforementioned the fact that my family is to have our traditional Christmas get together at my home this year. This is a family that is riff with their own personal dramas and challenges and theirs like mine will work themselves out with time and patience or there is no immediate solution. Again, drama. Again, they as am I, may be grasping for perspective.
I arose this morning, like every other morning for the past 51 plus years. I walked to and fro and I breathed in and out and I faced this day’s tasks as all the days prior to this. I interacted with two truly awe inspiring children. Not so much for their individual brilliance or there staggering appearance although I think them as smart as or smarter than most and grateful they look more like their mother than me. No, I’m in awe because they are with me. In my house. Hugging me each morning and nestled under my chin each night and that they call me Daddy. I beheld a woman far more gracious and loving and beautiful than I deserve. I am a man with much pride and many failings and yet in the midst of this she walks in my world. This woman among women. Soft, smart, loving, sweet and kind. Gracing my harsh character and cleaning up if not brightening up my shambles of a life.
On Christmas Eve I’ll stand before two aging mothers, a brother, his sweet wife, his two sons and their wive and sons, a beloved sister and her renowned husband. I will see in each of them something that is also amazing and beautiful to me. Husbands loving their wives furiously, if not a times, ineptly. Wives loving their husbands in the same way and all of them experiencing the same joy, frustration, and awe in their own children that I experience in mine. I’ll see in them the collective decades of life experience. Of living, of heartache, of joy, of passion, of hope, of momentary defeats, of great successes and of the brokenness that we all have resident in our souls.
There is a verse in Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” I had always thought of soul and spirit as being pretty much one and the same. I’ve learned that “Soul” is that invisible dimension of our life that we are by nature. That person of thought and character. Who we naturally digress into being in our most unguarded or weakest moments. The soul man if you will. “Spirit” is what we are by supernatural rebirth. That which God ordained us to be and works persistently and consistently to mold us into being in our moments of breathing in and out and walking to and fro.
I am profoundly captured by the complexity of this time in my life and yet I am also profoundly struck by the simplicity of where and how perspective is obtained. So where is this “perspective” that I seek. What is this thing that seems to be so elusive to almost everyone I know, to me.
Simply, I find it in the person of Jesus Christ. I see it in the creation I enjoy hiking in so much. In the natural beauty of this earth. I see it in the faces of my children, in the kiss from my bride, in the frailties of our parents, in the relationships of my siblings and their families, in the walking to and fro and the breathing in an out. It is in the miracle of a virgin birth. In the fact that not only did The Almighty God of the universe send his son to be the payment for my sin cursed soul, but He sent the only son he had. That before time was even time, He knew that there would be a Todd, and a Sharon, and a Noah, a Bailey, a Voncille, a Martha, a Waid, Debbie, Donna, Homer, Pete, Micah, Crystal, Abby, Eli and Brayden, and that each and everyone of them would be in need of a savior. He created everything and orchestrated everything that each of these would have the knowledge of this Savior. He does all of this so that I will know the glory that is His son Jesus and to have the same love for Christ that the Father has for His own son. Not an attempt to be more loving, but to have as much of that very same God love as I can possibly manage in this life before I can do it perfecting in a heaven that’s waiting for me.
The “perspective” is being in a constant state of acknowledgement that God made all of this with me and these and you the reader in mind. That He is doing what must be done to draw me closer to Him, whether that means joyful things or stressful things, pleasure or pain, it is what it must be for me to draw near to Him as He has drawn near to me. To acknowledge that there is a spark of divinity in all and thus they are valuable. His very breathe brought all into being. Whether I agree with your politics, your moral compass or your personal preferences, you were created by The Almighty God. Acknowledging that He is GOD and I am just Todd.
So this Christmas, this celebration, will be about the birth of my Savior and the rebirth of a God centered perspective.
Merry Christmas and may God bless us, every one.