Is Christmas truly the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year?” It is for many, I suppose. For others, it’s the worst. For me, it’s the time of pre-wonderful. It is a candy-coated appetizer to the main course – the series of days I’ve come to describe as “The Pocket Days”.
The Pocket Days – those five blessed days separating Christmas and New Years – are coming to an end this year, 2013. I will miss these cozy days, nestled within a pocket of solace. It is during The Pocket Days that much of the World takes a breath. Like an overfed partaker at a Thanksgiving Day feast, people stop their harried pace, loosen belt buckles, and heave a collective sigh. Why do so many of us do this? It’s because we give ourselves permission to do it. We’ve all agreed, in an unspoken way, that it is OK to slow down for a few days.
Recently, as I navigated a commute that lasted roughly half the time it would outside The Pocket Days, I began to meditate on this period of time. It occurred to me that, for the first time all year, I was not nervous about anything. My mind was not scrambling about in an effort to reclaim a pile of lost information, to recall those items on my mental checklist that I was too overcome with stress to bring myself to add to a physical list. I was at peace. Why? Because I gave myself permission to be at peace.
I recall that Jesus, during his final days on Earth, talked a lot about peace. “Peace I leave with you…” he said. He gave us permission to feel peace. Few of us seem to agree with the premise that peace is permissable. I know I don’t.
I have a small prayer for myself and for each of you. I am scripting this prayer into written words, because it’s the only way I’ve found to make prayers solid for myself. I pray that each of us would learn to agree with Jesus when it comes to peace. I pray we would give ourselves permission to receive peace – “…not as the world gives…”, but as we were meant to from the beginning – peace as I have found during these sweet Pocket Days.
Happy New Year, everybody.