An unexpected personal finding: praying is hard. Praying every night, which I resolved to do, whatever the circumstances, is unexpectedly hard. Sometimes I don’t want to. Sometimes I’d rather work late, or surf the Net or do the laundry, or talk to my husband…or anything…rather than get down on my knees and pray to my Father and admit the sins of the day. Especially if they were the sins of yesterday and the day before that and so on and so on.
I failed again. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Again.
We’re so used to being proud of ourselves for our accomplishments and sweeping the failures under the rug. To bring them out each night is humbling. Once in a while though, I feel, even as I fight myself to surrender, the joy of it.
I find myself looking forward to the holidays this year. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years…all of them. The difference between this year and previous years is that the reason for celebration is no longer lost on me.
Celebration to thank God.
Celebration to marvel at the mercy and glory of God who brought us a savior.
Celebration to begin a fresh new year, with more hope and more love.
Yesterday, a coworker of mine was bemoaning the commercialization of Christmas. He said he wasn’t particularly religious but this season always depressed him by the way the point is being missed.
The usual culprits of holiday depression are explained as lack of close family, friends, social isolation and overcommercialization. But I think, looking back in my life, I would put the finger on missing God. When we are so far away from him on the days we’ve set aside historically to honor him, the lost feelings multiply and become crushing, leading to cynicism and bitterness as protective measures for our broken hearts.
I will be so glad to honor my Father this year on these special days. No false sentiment. No going through the motions. Just celebration and hope.