Sunday, December 04, 2011

Clockwork, Christmas, and Control.

I am currently working on a 20 page paper due tomorrow.

As per my modus operandi, somewhere around hour 6 of the paper-writing process I begin to think obsessively:  
"I MUST blog now. Right now. This very minute." 
I do this thing where when working on a paper, or a blog, I let the thoughts simmer for a long time before writing. And evidently, the boiling point for both items occurs at the same time.

So here we are. (It's going to be a late night.)

I was struck with the realization yesterday that Christmas is coming. 
You might already be very aware of this. 
I wasn't.
In fact, Christmas will be here in three weeks, as of today.
At this rate, you might happen to see me in the mall on Christmas eve buying things "as seen on TV" because I ran out of time.
(Well, okay, probably not. More likely I'll get the idea that I can "make something" and will develop carpal tunnel from trying to knit that blanket that I thought was a brilliant idea somewhere around December 15th.)

On a related note (this will make sense at the end, I promise), there are moments in my job at the college when I think "wow, I get paid to be here". One such moment happened on Thursday last week during chapel. It was an advent-focused chapel, lead by a class of worship arts students. The focus was Christ's coming, and linking "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" with both the understanding that Christ came, and is yet coming to us again. 

Something hit me in that moment, that perhaps I too often live as though Christ came. 
I forget the second part. 
As much as I want to live "carpe diem", I can't toss the future aside, simply because I can't control it. Or because I can't dream it. Or because I've lost hope.

Yes, it's true. 
While I attempt to live life as the eternal optimist, there are times where I lose hope. 
It makes me very, very human. 
It creeps into cynicism. 
And at its very worst, becomes apathy.

But when I think about Christmas and what it all means (i.e. not the mall or the knitted blanket), I think it is better to say I have misplaced hope. 

For, in my times of hopelessness, I am attempting to control whatever the situation is. 
I've misplaced hope, because I've tried to substitute it with power. 
And I simply can't. 
I'm not supposed to. 
I'm not in charge.
Somehow, the focus of the advent brought that realization to fruition:  
I am free to hope, and hope continues to free me...and that is the gift of Christ's love for me

It may not have been what those students were getting at, but it's what came to me in that moment we sang these words:

And what was said to the rose to make it unfold
Was said to me, here in my chest
So be quiet now, and rest.
Here is our King
Here is our Love
Here is our God who's come to bring us back to him
He is the one,
He is Jesus

1 comment:

  1. beautiful reminder Kathleen. I think I too often live in that place: Christ came.
    Thanks for your words! Hope you got your paper done!