Even though I went back to work on the second day of Christmas, I’ve been thinking more about what Christmastide means. Once we get to the manger, it seems, we find it hard to stay for very long. As far as the culture goes, our economy can’t afford for us to have too long of an attention span: the Valentine’s Day decorations are already out. We can’t spend money and take time to reflect. Those of us in churches that celebrate Advent do a better job waiting and preparing than we do once the baby arrives. Perhaps we are so tied to the culture that we move on, whether we intend to or not. Or, perhaps, we don’t know how to be patient and let Jesus grow up.
The gospel writers skipped from birth to one preadolescent story to Jesus being baptized. None of them intended to write full-fledged biographies, so the gaps are understandable, yet I still keep coming back to the idea that Jesus didn’t come into the world fully formed. Mary laid the babe in the manger that night and three decades later he began his ministry. It took almost eleven thousand days after his birth – eleven thousand breakfasts and dinners and dusty Nazareth afternoons — for Jesus to incrementally become, well, Jesus.
Maybe the idea has stuck with me these past couple of days because I feel some disquietude in my life (and that’s a good thing) that leaves me wondering what is on the horizon. Here I am fifty-three years on (that would be over nineteen thousand days) and I still have a sense of becoming, as though had I continued to make pencil marks on the spiritual door frame of my life I would find I was still growing after all these years. I hope so, anyway. One measure I have had of late is this blog. Today marks the fourth anniversary of don’t eat alone. The nine hundred posts do resembled marks of a sort, indications of where I found myself on the journey on a particular day. I feel safe in saying I am not at the same place I was four years ago. And I am grateful for both the growth and the journey. Like Cat Stevens sings:
so on and on I go
the seconds tick the time out
there’s so much left to know
and I’m on the road to find out
Here’s to becoming, together.