Monday, December 05, 2011

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (Don't Buy it Either)

Christmas is crazy. And I'm not talking about the mind-blowing, superfluous leap of the God-Man Jesus into our world, becoming one of us, marrying himself to our humanity forever in order to love us into his eternal embrace. I'm talking about the commercials.

We all know how strongly we're pressured to purchase at this time of the year. As a father of two little ones, (and one of them exceptionally wide-eyed and wonder-filled in this season of lights), I confess it ain't always easy keeping it Franciscan, if you know what I mean.

But Advent is our saving grace... It shimmers like a little oasis in the midst of a desert of doodads and thing-a-magigs that would be "perfect" for so-and-so IF they show up at that party at so-and-so's. While the malls and the movies and the music play on their siren songs, luring us into the spending frenzy that Christmas can become identified with, Advent is the road less traveled. The still, small voice. A winding desolate path, clear, open to the skies, calling us to walk it. It has nothing on it, but Everything swirls above it; the plan of God to let His Fire fall, to consume the doodads and the thing-a-magigs we cling to. To hollow us out, to make space for a new born.

So this season, as we move through the clutter that can become Christmas, let's recall Advent's simplicity. Let's not sweat the small stuff, the little distractions and speed bumps we encounter on the way to the crib at Bethlehem. Let's look for the crazy love of God breaking through the crazy commercialism of these days. This wonder will sustain us, when the crumpled paper and ribbons fall away. This love will truly fill our hands and never fade, it will touch our hearts and truly satisfy.

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