— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —
When I saw what date for a meditation I had been assigned, I paused and wondered what significance such a date had for me, what might be the focus of my musings…
December 29th. Hmmmm. The first thing that came to mind was the feeling that I had as a child during this time between the weeks of excitement and happy anticipation of Christmas and then the bleak doldrums looming ahead. With a thunderclap, all the cheery music and the wonder of the season was gone. Soon we’d be headed back to school under a dark winter sky.
I wondered if that might not perhaps be a metaphor for the way life sometimes progresses. We are full of eager anticipation of so many things: as children we can barely contain the thrill of the upcoming birthday, as a teenager anticipating that first date, that first kiss. Couples looking happily toward a wedding, the arrival of a first child. We seem, if we are fortunate enough to be blessed with a positive outlook, to always be looking to the future with joyful hope.
As with the excitement of the Christmas season, these positive events are often followed by periods of what we sometimes call the “blahs”. The drop-off from the peak of cheerfulness into the vacuum of the empty days that follow is sudden and steep. The Christmas decorations hang wilted and the stowing away of tree ornaments must surely be one of the most dismal tasks of the year. That first date turned out to be boring. The once-lively family nest has emptied more rapidly than one expected. Small wonder that depression in its many forms – winter blues, postpartum depression – is so often preceded by high points.
So given that life is a mixture of these two, the excitement and then the disappointment, what do we do about it? The Jews who wanted a strong military leader to lead them out of suppression were surely excited about the prospect of the coming of the Messiah, only to end up with a baby who would later preach love….and change our world. Not only was their faith tested. They were in need of a “leap of faith”, a Vertrauensvorschuss.
The internet tells me “A leap of faith, in its most commonly used meaning, is the act of believing in or accepting something outside the boundaries of reason.” Isn’t this what we Christians do daily? Believe in the intangible?
So, back to the winter blahs. As a child I was no more able to change the bleakness that is mid-January back into the glitter of holiday parties than I am now to keep the wrinkles of old age and the pains in my joints away. Accepting the inevitable – that January follows December and that “older” age is before me – is not always easy. And yet, I have a tool, a gift. I have my faith that all is unfolding as it should and that my prayer of accepting gracefully what the future holds will be answered. So leap along with me into the winter blues, knowing that [all] “is well with my soul.”
The ACF Midweek Meditations
are written by a diverse group of our church members with the intention to seek God’s fingerprints in our lives. They range from somber to humorous and are inspired by all facets of live and faith. Written by ordinary people from all walks of life, they reflect a wide range of Christian backgrounds and spiritualities.
Each week’s text portrays the individual viewpoint of its author. They might not always resonate with everyone, and are not meant to be understood as representing the Anglican Church Freiburg as a whole. Yet, as a church that is aiming to ‘Build a Community of Grace’ we seek to practice learning from and listening to one another.
We pray that these humble ponderings add a small spark of blessing to your week.