Monday, December 1, 2008

Advent Retreat: Session 1 Reflection

Over at RevGalBlogPals they are having an all day Virtual Advent Retreat. They will post three reflections from bona-fide theologians, and the rest of us get to read, and hopefully reflect. I am a little late in getting started, since Session 2 is already up, but here it goes:

For reflection:
You might like to consider where and why you protest about building a highway for God.
Which hills need to become valleys...or which mountains are really molehills?
Listen again to the reassurance "Do not fear...Here is your God."
God is speaking into the situation of your greatest anxiety. Where your fear is most deeply seated, there God is already waiting.

I am interested in the mountains-which-are-really-molehills concept. At first I thought, "I don't do that!" And this is why - When my friends start freaking about this, that, and the other, I try to be a voice of calm and reason. For instance, the stress level in my own home has gone down a bit since I took control of organizing the upcoming plumbing project. The Comrade Landlords really complement me in some ways because they tend to take things pretty seriously - such as the complicated nature of getting plumber, contractor and dweller's schedules to align - whereas I try to take it one step at a time, trusting that everything will end happily, since that has been the majority of my experience these last 24 years. But sometimes, I don't make a big enough deal out of things, and that can leave me unprepared, whereas Comrade Landlords are very prepared people.

But, Comrade Landlord #1 would say I make a mountain out of a mole hill at Christmas.

A little background - Out of 23 Christmas celebrations (not including the day I was born) I have avoided crying twice. The anticipation that we have, the excitement we build up to during Advent just overwhelms me and I end up crying (in my defense, two of the most recent years had good excuses - missing CordeliaKnits and having a panic attack at a movie). Every year I try not to get quite as pumped up, to save myself the agony, but how can I not?

As I believe I have stated before, it is my belief that Christmas is the
MOST. WONDERFUL. TIME. OF. THE. YEAR.

People are a little happier. Streets seem a little cleaner. Music is 99% less melancholy. Families come together.

And all of us, young or old, GLB or T, single or committed, with children or without, get to anticipate the arrival of a new baby. A baby who wants to help us smooth our mountains and make our highways straight.

SO, there's this mole hill, and its name is Christmas Preparation, and I make a big deal. I bake cookies. I decorate. I listen to Christmas music almost exclusively. I go overboard with presents (many hand-made, more on that later). And I try to get others excited to. I want their molehills to be mountains too.

Is that so bad?

1 comment:

Juniper said...

Hi There,
Glad that our retreat day is providing some food for thought.

I am so interested in this post, as I have spent much of my life being the same boat as you. Now, I kind of get the crying over with early and have a big weep sometime the week before Thanksgiving. I think it has to do with expectation, and the awareness of expectation.

You ask if that is wrong, and if you mean crying, I sure dont think so. (As a certified weeper myself, i can tell you that sometimes it's just the thing to express an emotion - ANY emotion!) But one thing I've been working on lately is re-setting my expectations and the intentions. In as many of my actions as possible, I try to say "This is for Jesus...." then, whatever I do (or DONT do) is ok and however other people respond (OR DONT respond) is ok too.