Write In Between

Monday, December 18, 2006

Ready or Not, Jesus is Coming

A long time ago, I was a child who couldn’t wait for Christmas to come—counting down the days with glee! Now I’m an adult with an obligatory calendar counting days ‘til Christmas with a to-do list and a mindset of “how will I ever get it all done?” But the believer in me knows this much: Things may not always go as planned, or according to my list, but Jesus is coming anyway.

I meant to spend more of Advent in prayer and meditation instead of on household chores that were never ending… but Jesus is coming anyway.

I meant to do a few things that would “make the season bright” instead of getting absorbed in an extra project that distracted me many days this month. Jesus is coming anyway.

I meant to find time to bake and join with my neighbors at the annual cookie swap, instead of spending it cocooning in a library to finish my term paper… Jesus is coming anyway.

I meant to shop for gifts and ship early to long-distance loved ones instead of scrambling at the last minute and paying expedited shipping fees… but Jesus is coming anyway.

I meant to take each of my teens out for a little excursion—both to let them shop for their Dad and siblings and to enjoy local festivities—instead of putting it off until things got too crazy… but Jesus is coming anyway.

I meant to finish painting our front hallway before Christmas, which has been under construction since before Thanksgiving, instead of just decorating around it (hoping no one will mind our mid-construction motif)… Jesus is coming anyway.

I meant to find that perfect gift for my husband instead of finding just a few little things… Jesus is coming anyway.

I meant to send personal Christmas notes in each of my Christmas cards, instead of wondering if I’d have time to even put stamps on the ones I’ve already purchased… Jesus is coming anyway.

I meant to “anticipate” Christmas in a holy way instead of feeling the pressure of time and the pressing needs to fulfill obligations… and, yes, Jesus is coming anyway.

I get frustrated at moments like these—especially by my lack of time, opportunity, and resolve. But in reality, my complaints are minimal. This Christmas, perhaps you know, like I, many people who are struggling with enormous burdens: grieving the death of a loved one, having surgery, facing job loss, experiencing divorce or a tragic illness, (you fill in the blank). And for many of them, the coming of Christmas seems like a time of stress and sorrow.

Indeed, some years Christmas just comes sooner than we expect, and sooner than we are ready. But Jesus comes anyway… and, really, it’s just in the nick of time.

For Jesus comes to fill us with all that we lack in time and space. He is the fullness of time, and the opportunity of our lifetimes. Jesus knows our lack of resolve and resolved to come anyway: to replenish us and to gift us beyond every need, saving us from ourselves, and worse. Jesus is greater the faith we lack, the hope we seek, and the charity we fail to exercise. He is ALL for ALL. The child in my heart really still does believe that deep down. Despite all my grown-up obligations, foibles, and missteps, the child in me can’t forget the Child who comes.

And because He is the Child who can never forget us, Jesus comes anyway.

©2006 Patricia W. Gohn

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