I spend a small amount of time considering the question of “legacy.” Not in the presidential sense but rather in the sense that everything I do contains a little bit of me, my thoughts and habits and so simply by breathing in the air in a particular place (church) I tend to have an effect on the culture by a) being in a leadership role and b) by portraying to the world my own worldview.
Each end every day I am modeling something, concern, care, selfishness (hey, not every day is a good one) without any intention of doing so as all of us do and so there is the conundrum of being a role model and creating a culture in subtle ways while all the while trying to be intentional about actions and behaviors. There are limits to how much self-analysis I can manage in a given day and so, so much of this behavior is unconscious and unevaluated that is weirds me out to think what it is that might come about because of this fact of life; that we create reality by living in it.
The thing that brought this to mind is that I am feeling a bit nostalgic these days and have struck on the idea of casting back into memory and resurrecting habits and traditions of past years to make Christmas into a moment that we can inhabit not just for the season but also for the whole year. What would it be like to have that kind of child-like anticipation of graces and joys to come? Could we recapture that without turning it into something else, the typical impatience that we all suffer through with the help of the media constantly telling us that we deserve a break today, not tomorrow today!
It could be that since I was raised in a presents-on-Christmas-morning household, that I have simply learned to be patient about those kinds of things. There was no rush, the morning would come when it came and that was all there was to it. The morning could be bleary eyed for my parents, yet joyful exuberance for my brother and me. Having never owned a cell-phone I was actually happy with new sweaters. Knowing that we were not wealthy (as much as we think that we didn’t know, we all did, we had wealthy classmates and they got different, better stuff) we knew that we got the things that we needed and we looked for that morning to dawn with eagerness.
simple childlike free
Did that just disappear with childhood?
Gracious Lord, giver of life and of love and of freedom in Christ have mercy on us. Show us the way to be at peace with our world instead of at war with it, constantly having to seek advantage. Let us know the sweetness of just family and just love and just hope, time spent in community, after all, “it is not good for people to be alone” and we’ve lost that a little bit. Show us the way.