Unwrapped

So now it is over for another year. The gatherings that we look forward to are long over. Presents that we longingly anticipate have been unwrapped with the pretty paper laying strewn all over the floor. When that last gift is opened and Christmas is behind for another year the question lingers – Is that all?


It becomes time to deal with the disappointment and sense of being let down. No more parties; no more decorations; no more pretty packages promising to cover our yearning. Is that all blends so easily into I thought I’d be happier.


Yet, our lives are like the holiday season; adorned with extras that somehow promise more to our sense of self than they were ever intended to deliver; while we pine for them we feel inadequate yet hopeful and when they are attained we feel let down and hollow.


If I just had a relationship, then…

If I could just lose 20 pounds, then…

If I just had a different job, then…

If I could just stop being depressed, then…

Or if I made more money, then…

If I just had a boat, then…

Or a child, or more sex, or friends, and the list can go on and on and on and on. There is an infinite list of things we can turn to dress ourselves up, make ourselves feel more worthy and acceptable.

Trying to create a sense of self, we lose ourselves.

In our culture the timing of Christmas and New Year’s is unfortunate. At a time when we are forced to confront our disappointment in what we are relying on to create a sense of worth, we quickly approach the day when things ‘start over’ and we resolve to make the changes necessary to be happy this next time around.

Not that we shouldn’t consider our behaviors and evaluate them. But, we should not use this evaluation as a barometer of our value as a person. A sort of acceptability litmus test.

Rather than using New Year’s as a time to resolve new behaviors – new ways to wrap ourselves up to look more presentable in order to be accepted and chosen – why not let the holiday blues drive you to consider why you do not feel significant?

Only then can you begin the process (yes, there are no easy fix-its) of filling in that space, not with ‘better’ behaviors or ‘acceptable’ strategies or ‘significant’ goals, but with the truths that Jesus, the image of the invisible God, spoke to us and lived before us. Deny the false self.

Systems, powers, and people can devastate the soul. Indeed, there are pains that we are going to have to bear in this fallen, broken world. Take up your cross.

Jesus is not a magic pill making everything better. He is Savior. Comforter. Counselor. Overcomer. He plows the path, walking our steps with us, relieving our burden. Follow Him.
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