We can only go three days without water, two weeks without food, but how long do we often go without feeding our souls?
It’s amazing that so much can be made about the birth of one baby. I mean I know he grew up into Jesus and everything but we could have just started with him as an adult. What’s the point anyway? Who cares about a baby? I mean babies are nice and cute and adorable and messy but the important part is when we get all grown up. Right? When we’re adults and can put away childish things. That’s how we think at least.
And today more than ever. How fast we make our children grow up. I mean, who’s got the time for kiddy things anymore anyway. Childhood is overrated. This is wrong thinking.
Don’t lose your child’s childhood so you can have an easier time of it. Don’t trample on your own childhood in a rush to look and sound like an adult. Don’t underestimate your need for peace and joy.
No matter how many years we live, no matter how old we get, no matter how far we move away from our birthplace, we can never leave behind completely who we were in those first days, months, and even years. Our souls never outgrow their birth into human lives. We live forever stamped with the condition in which God first gave us life.
That’s why Christmas is so wonderful. We get to be reminded that even the most divine among us was born and therefore truly human. God started at the very beginning: as a baby, taking a first breath, feeding for the first time from his mommy, crying in need and dependence, falling asleep in peace, breathing in joy of being alive and loved. Christmas shows us we have a divine right to be this, to want peace and joy. Peace and joy are your birthrights from God.
Now of course finding joy can be a real challenge, and so can feeling peace. We’ve experienced so much in our world over the last year. And of course so many people can add a local tragedy or two, and then our personal struggles. All of this can leave one overwhelmed, hopeless and cynical.
Often we deal with all the things coming our way by keeping our nose to the grindstone, taking on the duties of life: Do this, don’t do that. Get this done and that and then that other thing also. And it’s true that much of what needs to get done, needs to get done. No doubt about it.
But how many people today are overloading themselves?
In a world constantly demanding more, better, faster, and kicking you to the curb if you can’t produce it, peace and joy become options, incidentals.
We’re on a starvation diet when it comes to our souls.
Growing up in Chicagoland, and with a mom and dad who believed in the benefits of milk, I drank milk all the time growing up. Other families probably drank milk at meal times but they would also drink pop, as we called it in Chicago. We drank Kool-Aid, but mostly milk and water.
Having lived in South Florida for awhile, I for years now have drunk water primarily—when I get up in the morning, at lunch, dinner, between meals, on the way to work. I’m so in tune my H2O needs I can feel when I’ve had enough or I need more,or when I’m due for something else… like a big glass of milk.
There are times when a tall glass of cold milk is just what I needed because while water is good to make sure I don’t get dehydrated, it isn’t the only thing good for me. You need wine sometimes… I mean milk sometimes.
You see, that’s the thing. We do feed ourselves all of the time. We are on a diet. We feed our minds and hearts ideas, experiences, schedules, interests, commitments—or lack of.
You could say we feed ourselves the idea that we’re machine-like. We are supposed to function well. We run; we work; we compute or don’t compute. But we aren’t machines…
Nor are machines human. They never needed to be fed, or changed, or loved, or instructed. They never grow facial hair, or pimples, or been rejected, or felt love. They never lose hope, or age and know they’re aging. They never lose their parents, or a child. They never graduate or grow up or start a family or pray or lose faith, or regain faith.
They never need peace or joy desperately.
No, they’re machines.
We on the other hand are merely, wonderfully, soulfully humans, created, born, given life, entrusted with gifts and purposes and responsibilities. We are dreamers, workers, lovers, fearful, lonely, hopeful, faithful. We are children of the Divine one, the Lord our God, and sisters and brothers one with each other on earth and in our Maker’s eyes.
If there is anyone who seeks peace, it’s you. If there is anyone who needs joy, it is you. If there is anyone who believes in Christmas, and the
Babe of Bethlehem, the good news of great joy—peace for humankind, joy in your soul—may it be you. Tonight, and forever.