Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Pressure's Off!

Our first rainy day of winter. And I'm enjoying it. It's the first day I have sent my kids to school with shoes in a VERY long time, and Belle was not amused that she had socks on. I love that last winter was so long ago in her mind that she has forgotten completely what socks are and how they feel!

I had a revelation whilst driving the school route this morning. It was prompted by a conversation I had with a new friend last week. For the last 10 years, she and her husband and now family of 4 kids have not celebrated Easter or Christmas. For them, learning about the reasons behind all the present day traditions and celebrations led to feeling convicted not to partake in any of it, as when you really get down to it, it's mostly all pagan festivals we've kind of adopted as being the norm. So for them, they celebrate three festivals - Passover, Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles. Easter, and Christmas Day don't feature at all on their calendar. 

That conversation prompted something I recalled from 'God Grew Tired of Us' (heart wrenching title huh?) this profound documentary (a must see) on the orphaned boys from Sudan and
their travels, and the journey some of them made to America. The one man
(once boy) was interviewed at Christmas time in America, and his face 
painted a picture of a thousand words. He was utterly confused. 
He kept asking what this Christmas thing was, and why it was celebrated
like this, and what was with the Santa and the trees? The director than cut to a 
shot of how they celebrate it in the refugee camps - and the JOY, the pure 
joy was almost tangible.. No trappings. Nothing false - just real fellowship for a 
real reason.

And my revelation was this: if we CHOOSE see these times of year for what 
they really are - consumer driven festivals that happen to occur at set times each
year, then we can choose to celebrate the truth whenever we want throughout
the year. Why am I trying so hard to make these seasons so significant? Why not just live the truth all year round? I cannot tell you what a feeling of relief that brought me. I'm not going to spend hours researching how to make Easter meaningful, or print coloring in pages of tombstones rolling away or anything like that. I'm 
going to wait...and when I feel led, we'll talk about the birth of Christ, or his death in our normal daily lives.

I'm not sure we're about to embark on anything quite as radical as not celebrating it altogether, as there are things within these seasons that I love, but it's certainly given me much to dwell on.

Food for thought huh?

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