Mere Christmas

I’m not feeling the Christmas season.

photo credit: John Morgan via creative commons

photo credit: John Morgan via creative commons

Perhaps it’s the warmer weather we have had in Nashville (which I love). Maybe it’s because I have been busy. I have not been able to figure it out completely, but I don’t feel merry this Christmas. I have a playlist with Christmas music on it and I held off listening to it most of this month. With no new podcasts to listen to and not wanting to hear the garbage on sports talk radio I decided to play it driving home from work the other night. It didn’t do anything for me.

I’m reading Mere Christianity right now. My dad gave this book to me when I was a sophomore in high school. I remember attempting to read it on a beach trip and losing interest after the first few pages. I liked what C.S. Lewis was saying but had trouble absorbing it.

As I turn through the pages now it is still hard to absorb at times. There are chapters I read when I feel I’m right there with him. Our brains are on the same wavelength decades apart. Then there are other times when I read it and pages take days to read. I read a few paragraphs and it’s a foreign language. This lingers on and I will go a few days without picking the book up. Eventually I go back and crack it open. I sit down and clear my head and read page after page and it means something. I keep coming back to the book because I know I will enjoy the finished product.

I quite agree that the Christian religion is, in the long run, a thing of unspeakable comfort. But it does not begin in comfort; it begins in the dismay.” – C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity

As I have been going through this ebb and flow the past few weeks it reminded me of how I felt about Christmas this year. Even though I’m not in the mood to celebrate this Christmas season I need to choose to be in the mood. I need to embrace it even though all I want to do is lower my head and push through until January or until it is warm again.

I want to listen to the lyrics of “O Holy Night” and feel something, but it’s probably not going to happen unless I stop and listen to the song. In this advent season I’m trying to focus on the waiting.

However, I’m not waiting on me to get used to Christmas. It’s almost here and I’m going to remember Christmas 2015 for all the insane blessings which have come my way this year. The year has gotten better with each passing month. I don’t want to see it end. I’m going to celebrate it even if my car has a flat tire and even if I wake up not feeling well. You only get a certain number of Christmases and they are all merry if you allow them to be.

My nature is to rush and it feels unnatural to wait. It’s uncomfortable but you learn to embrace it. I’m attempting to understand the moments in life where waiting seems the worst possible outcome but where it is all we can do. I’m leaning into it. There is only a week left. I’m going to make it count.