Friday, December 9, 2011

Tradition and Following the Teacher

Another Christmas season is upon me, and I'm just not feeling it. It could be stress, I don't know. I feel as if my life is one fast merry-go-round that has no stop button. Christmas is my favorite holiday. We decorated our tree tonight, but deep down I wonder if it's a waste of time and resources. I know what experts say about creating family traditions. Pulling down boxes and boxes of construction paper projects, silly snowmen, and angels was always my favorite day of the year. It was like a treasure hunt to pull out each decoration or ornament and "remember." I watched my son do that tonight. He seemed to want everything out!

Maybe it's not Christmas I have a problem with so much as the merry-go-round feeling I have. I've had little time for quiet, play, or rest, and it shows. These past 8 weeks I have been rushing, giving orders, and keeping up with the routine, trying not to fall behind.
I'm bothered that I can't give my time, money, and energy to what matters most to me, my family, friends, and my favorite causes. I feel "guilt" that while I'm putting up a tree, there are children who are hungry and unloved, there are adults hunkering down by a small fire under a bridge, and there are people all around me who don't really know love at all or the true Creator of Love.

And yet, what am I doing about that? So we just go ahead and put up a Christmas tree, it's what we always do.

It's not enough to want to do something.

A short but compelling story in the gospel of Matthew chapter 8 came to mind as I was mulling this over.

18 "When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”  21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

While I believe there could be many possible applications of this small, but cutting tale, what stands out to me was how the man, a teacher, would not give up his "tradition," a human, earthly tradition, for the sake and joy of following Jesus, the ultimate Teacher!

What tradition will I, shall I, should I let go of for the sake of following Jesus during this very "traditional" time of the year?

1 comment:

R.Avril said...

Very thought provoking. It now makes me wonder if there is not only a tradition I need to give up, yet what if its time to start a new Tradition? One that is focused around being a follower of Christ during this busy and hectic time of year? Thanks for sharing your thoughts!