Live Into The Season
‘Tis the Season to….
A recent sermon by Father Rob Lord of All Saints in Winter Park confirmed for me what I know, but sometimes forget. While it’s most top of mind during the holiday season, this message is relevant every single day of our lives.
As if in slow motion, I heard him say the words “Rather than Live Up To Something…..” At that point, it was clear to me his next words would be “Live Into It.” As he said those words in reference to the season of Advent and all the distractions the season brings outside the church, I hung on to those words as a reminder that it’s just too easy to get caught up in the hurry of the season. We often forget to live into the moments we are in because we are focusing on the need to live up to something artificial.
It was my reminder to slow down and be a part of the gift that is before us. Our days and the gifts of the church season as well as the positive residuals that come with it.
Tips for Living Into this season (and beyond).
– Ask a child what they see. In putting up our holiday decorations, our children participated with excitement. Honestly, we may found ourselves decorating in a routine manner, possibly missing the point, and I wondered “why it was so exciting for the children?” As my youngest snuggled next to the train, I asked her to tell me about it. “What do you see?” I asked. Actually, her limited response said it all. Her mind was in motion thinking about Santa’s train and every trip it made around the tree. What a wonderful journey her belief was creating for her. I sat down beside her to join her on that journey. Living in the moment.
– Slow down and observe. Crowded restaurants are full of people reconnecting beyond 140 characters (or less) or electronic Pins. As you walk by a Starbucks or a restaurant look for those who are deep in conversation. Taking in from their companions all the things our digital landscapes cannot deliver. Sit for a bit on bench in a popular area and I guarantee you’ll see it. Will you know their story? Probably not. But what you will notice is a very rewarding, and often overlooked, part of the season. The gift of time with friends and family. A sort of Love Actually approach.
– Don’t ramp up to just one day. We are guilty of it. Working, shopping, cooking for that one day. So much work, so little time in the actual moment. I think we get confused during this season of preparation. This is a season of preparation for the coming. The moments lived during days leading up to Christmas deliver as many gifts as the day itself. Let’s not try to live up to expectations of that one day. Rather live in the moment of the season and enjoy each day. Advent calendars are a great tool to ‘spread out the season.’
– Fill your calendars – with the good things in life. Schedule encounters normally put aside because of schedules and proximity to the ones we love. If you can’t get together at a cafe, schedule a virtual meet up. Agree with a friend to both take a lunch break from shopping, grab a small table at a restaurant, order a great meal and call a friend. Commit to it. Roseddy and her friend Mary commit to this on a weekly basis throughout the year with a standing Thursday night cocktail conversation – hundreds of miles apart.
– Be on guard. More powerful words from the sermon included the advice to be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down by the negatives of this life. The misunderstanding of the season. The weight of hearts distracted. Get back to the ‘why.’ Ask why we give gifts? Where did it start? What does it mean? Take the time to understand the origins and not necessarily get weighed down by the pressures of the season. Yes, we all participate in the mad shopping. We always will. But, this year I got to the heart of gift giving as much as I could. For example, on our children’s list was books. Under our tree will be favorite books from my childhood. As you can imagine, a bit hard to find because those books are not the commercialized Barbie series, or the latest Fancy Nancy. Rather, it’s This is the House That Jack Built and Harold’s Purple Crayon. With those stories will come my stories to share with my children. I honestly cannot wait to read them again.
Bottom line – slow down to live into the moments presented to you – and live into it.
Live into the magic of Belief that unfortunately diminishes as we age. Take a moment to realize that what is presented to us intended. Consider why.
Enjoy your season.