I first wrote about the great purposeful foreboding last year; I never thought it would apply to a second advent. Essentially this foreboding narrative stems from a political message promoted this year by a godless joy-sucking White House: "a winter of death" awaits the unvaccinated. Seriously?
Seriously! Stop for a minute. Just stop.
Stop and think about the purpose of that narrative and then ask yourself, are you succumbing to it?
This is the day of great joy, the greatest joy of all. A day when we celebrate a loving and purposeful blessing provided to us by our Creator. The universal truth. The pure perfection of a loving Child born in the most ordinary fashion for us, to us, to guide and share the most blessed and purposeful message that could ever be delivered to mankind: You are Loved.
Pause amid the human distractions. That message of love is pure.
Stop and sit in peace, and join together in the joy.
Yes, it is true, all around us is this great sense of foreboding ugh, and it's not just connected to a virus; it's everything before and everything since. Everything being created around us is weird; everything created around us is less comfortable; everything created around us is intended to project less joy - and as a consequence, it requires an intensity of thought just to carry-on ordinary events.
Christmas, the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is tonight and tomorrow. Yet almost everything created around us seems purposefully placed to distract from that joy - and focusing our attention on what joy we are missing. At the heart of that effort is an anxiety, a sense of foreboding. A sense of fear and worry; a sense of trepidation.
In our daily lives we encounter ordinary disconnects now. Masked faces are disconnecting our sense of interaction, our human connection. Unfortunately, and as a natural outcome of these challenges, we are accepting disconnect and creating a void inside ourselves. At the same time COVID is physically disconnecting people from their family.
Many families will not gather this year to celebrate the joyous event of Christ's birth. Many parents and grandparents will not see their adult children for the first time in years, perhaps ever. Many destabilized families are disconnecting as they succumb to fractures, instructions, created by people who appointed themselves as leaders.
It is almost unbelievable when you contemplate the damage. Politicians, yes P.O.L.I.T.I.C.I.A.N.S, have created terms and conditions, instructions for you and me, with the expectation that somehow we will adhere to their fiats or accept their aspersions.
I reject this.
I reject this effort with every fiber of my being.
Division, regardless of intent, is not a term or condition that I will accept. However, amid all of this bombardment, flux and ugh, even simple tasks like decorating the Christmas tree somehow feels, senses, seems less joyful.
Perhaps financial worry, again driven by the outcomes of man, stems the joy in shopping for family and friends. Perhaps the shine within the cheer is slightly dimmed because all around us is something we cannot quite describe, yet we feel it.
Perhaps tears flow at times and we struggle to understand what this unusual anxiety is all about. Then, we begin to struggle with the feeling of shame or guilt for being weak and allowing our humanity to pour out of our human-selves. Then, at the worst possible time in the year, our faith organizations are slow to understand the importance of fellowship and community amid an upheaval that has taken our center from under our feet.
The insufferable lack of regional leaders to stand tall only makes the anxiety worse. Where are the brave?
Where are the purposeful few who know the benefit of larger messages? I do not fault their absence because their void reminds me to stop, look at that face I see while brushing my teeth, and remember the greatest strength of all is from within. Nothing has the capacity to remove the strength provided by a loving God unless we allow it to; unless we allow them to.
As our grip on our familiar surroundings becomes more tenuous, we are faced with dictates and mandates that only exacerbate the issues our community faces. Meanwhile this ridiculous media drumbeats an incessant noise intent to destabilize us. Perhaps we cannot quite put our finger on why the impact is worse now.... but it is. This effort of theirs is more impactful. It is all ugh. It is all just ugh.
If you find the assembly of these simple words familiar to your current sense, first understand YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Second, understand there is nothing wrong with you. This blanket of anxiety is laying across our entire nation, indeed the entire world, and no matter where we stand - we are all sensing a various level of this ‘ugh' with some familiarity. However, that said, it is important to know this is transitional. We will not be in this place long. This too shall pass.
How do we shake these destabilizing feelings and emotions?
How do we reconnect to the core-spirit we carry in our lives?
These are the questions we should use to leverage ourselves back to a center of peace and hope. These are the questions that empower us to recharge of our sense of purpose and life within the lives of others, including our community, family and friends.
♦ The first way we shake this ‘ugh', is to give to others without reservation. Giving with purpose is the true spirit of human contact. The giving is not related to money or wealth; the giving is related to our human purpose. Perhaps we give a smile. Perhaps we give a kind word. Perhaps we give a compliment, or perhaps we just give time to another.
You could give a more valuable gift this year to anyone simply by reaching them. Perhaps send an email; or better yet write a letter to a dear friend or family member, or just pick up the phone. Reach out and tell them they matter and express why their place in this life of yours is important. Remind them of your specific thankfulness, and connect to the purpose of why we endeavor in this thing we call life.
Years from now, it is unlikely anyone will remember that thing they unwrapped. What they will remember, what will have much greater impact, is a message from YOU to THEM that they matter; that they are loved. That moment, perhaps those moments, provided by you will NEVER be forgotten. That look in your eye or sound of your voice that reached into them and emphasized their value, their worth, their importance. That is the gift they will remember in great detail, forever.
The important thing is to give, and to do it without any other intent or purpose than to fill your own heart.
♦ Within the giving, remind yourself what this journey is all about and look around to recognize how fortunate we are to have this life. Choose to cherish the ultimate gift from a loving God who wants joy and hope to permeate our human sense.
Hope is the one necessary human element beyond all other facets of life. Give the gift of hope and light to those you love by first reminding yourself of the gift that a loving God has given us all. It is too easy in our human sense to forget the biggest gift we have been granted, the gift of life. The ability to live and choose how we engage in the lives of others.
Remind yourself of the kind of purposeful HOPE that would leave the most glorious throne to be born into a manger as a baby, only to grow into a Man willing to lay down His everything for the flawed people amid humanity. Why? Because that hope is pure. That love is perfect.
No politics or false sense of security can overwhelm the message of HOPE that a loving God has provided. No effort of man or human disposition can surmount the greatest love of all. The message of Christ's birth is bigger and greater than any virus or legislative battle.
"No power of hell, nor scheme of man" can come close to the purpose of God's intent and love for you as a unique person qualified to receive that love.
Wrap yourself in the blanket of that unconditional love. Stop what you are doing.
Pause in the peace of this moment... set down your troubles, LISTEN and FEEL.
"Long lay the world in sin and error pining, til He appeared and the souls felt its worth. A thrill of HOPE; the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn..."
Let the tears flow, and with them release the foreboding. Engage in the next moment with a loving purpose filled with the HOPE that He provides. Fall forward to the centered purpose of your life, a very special life, and reflect on the gift we are too quick to diminish.
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost."