This season is given many titles; “the holiday season”, “the giving season”, “Advent”, “the season of joy”. The reality is that the days leading up to Christmas are for some, stressful, mournful and draining. Many have lost loved ones; others have lost jobs or don’t have the means to provide the “Christmas” they want for their families. And for millions, the season is no different from any other of theirs – a struggle to meet daily needs.
I often sit in no-man’s-land, ever-cognizant of the sad realities faced by so many, yet bursting with joy for the fun and seasonal memories that my own family cherishes and continues to create. I have learned that the commercialism of the season puts me off so terribly that I minimize my entrance into stores after about mid-November. (See my Village Wisdom excerpt below). My avoidance of commercial irritations helps me keep my focus tremendously.
So what is my focus for the season? Yesterday, as I walked up my mountain, fighting winter blues (S.A.D. – seasonal affective disorder is the technical name), this photograph came to me. It’s titled “A Moment of Pause”. Ugandans work long hard days, taking only a brief moment of pause from the hot sun or pouring rain (depending on the season). This December is that for me – a moment of pause. As we celebrate Advent, preparing for the birth of Jesus, I pause to reflect on years past, my present blessings and the hopes I have for the year to come. I’m a visionary and an absolute Do-er (project after project). I have to make myself pause. I don’t know if it is God or me giving the permission to rest, but I receive this gift with peace; peace that pausing is an important part of the journey and peace that my pause will give me clarity for steps to come.
I wish for you the gift of pause, a season of peace and true joy in your blessings.