Yesterday, I took a moment to contemplate the evergreen in the back yard that I had stoically adorned with led lights light week despite the frigid temperatures.  The tree has far outgrown me and my extendable pole and the lights go only up about  two-thirds of the way up. But what’s there is very bright.  Looking at it, I had a Christmas epiphany: If we’re honest, we’ll leave the tree as is, for it is pretty much representative of our lives — projects started, but not quite finished; good intention losing out to time limits and distraction.

In the juggling act we call our lives, we have balls in the air, balls on the ground, balls still in their packaging waiting for their turn to fly, and balls that have apparently been eaten by dust-bunnies. And thus the Advent Season goes by, preparing for the arrival of the Christ child, but never achieving readiness and preparing for the gift giving, entertaining, and card writing, but only getting 2/3rd s there or getting there by virtue of expedited shipping.

This epiphany has left me wondering about the original Epiphany and the events leading up to it.  Was this how it was in Bethlehem?  Did the people traveling there for the Census feel ill-prepared or did they have so little that going off on such a trek was more of an issue or perseverance than packing?  But surely, they left tasks undone or hurriedly done as they embarked on their government ordered vacation. Did Joseph berate himself when he found there were no accommodations or was his trust in God so complete that he felt no need for rumination, self-doubt or God-doubt?  And what about the Magi? Being wise, did they also know that no gift, regardless of preciousness, would be worthy of the King?

Wondering, but getting no answers, I resolve that a less-than perfect appearing tree (read Life) is not so bad. Perhaps I’ll add more lights to the tree, but there are a lot of other stops to make on the road of good intentions.

(C) Laura Hedgecock 2009


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