Smitten @ Christmas
I am smitten with my family. I mean sold out, totally in love, wouldn’t trade a thing for anything else. I love my wife more today than yesterday, and more than last week, month and year. I had this romantic hope when we got married that we would evolve to be different people over time, but that we would do it together and would be stronger because of the journey – simply because we would choose it to be so. Well, it’s true. Definitely not the script that we could have imagined – but then it wouldn’t be nearly the adventure that invites us to die to ourselves. I love my wife because she chose me. Period. And she continues to choose me everyday. Exclamation point! I don’t need anything else. I mean someone else chose to link their hopes and dreams with me in spite of myself. To think of the gravity of that … how could I be so deserving?
Maren, Greta, wow … what to say? How does a parent not get melted to a point of humility/pride/joy and, well, shear entertainment? I love these girls and am dumbfounded that God entrusted us to coach & love these two treasures. Surely we fail to emulate His unfathomable depth and breadth. Still, it is so sweet when we catch a glimpse of the honest, pure Truth that our bottom line intuition/soul confirms is the really-really undercurrent of our long-term hope. Isn’t it amazing how we can somehow see the simple goodness of life so clearly through the innocence of our children? Somehow God opens our eyes as we try to do the same for our children. Dependence is not a drag; it is an amazing gift … a gift that is both given and received. We are blessed to be in a family that “gets” that.
I relish in these thoughts on the threshold of Christmas. This is usually the beginning of my annual internal debate on the merits of the holiday. I’ve been tempted to be disillusioned by commercialism. I’ve struggled to grasp the integrity of a holiday started to pacify pagans in the name of Jesus’ birthday that would have been in the spring. Is it really about carrying on the giving tradition of Saint Nicholas of Florence, Italy? I’ve found that these questions ultimately miss the mark.
We celebrate Christmas because Christ chose us. What bakes my noodle is that He chose – and never stops to choose – us before and regardless of whether we choose Him. We are not deserving of the gift of the big-picture journey beyond our short time here on earth. Still, He invites us to be dependent on Him. I am so thankful for family to experience a small foretaste of that dependence we are offered from Jesus. And so we choose to celebrate Christmas … enjoying quality time with family and exchanging gifts as a symbolic reminder of the ultimate gift we are given and invited to receive.
I am smitten that I get to taste the “not-yet” in the “here and now.” Thanks for joining me, Babe. We are chosen. What a Merry Christmas indeed.