It doesn’t matter one whit how much we’d all hoped to be done with this by now, we have to accept it.
The ‘stay-safe-at-home’ guidelines and government restrictions are tightening again, due to the unhappy spread of COVID. They told us it would surge in the fall, and they were right.
Thanksgiving and Christmas will be odd this year.
So, I have been pep talking myself.
(Isn’t that a fun word? ‘Pep talk.’ It makes me smile.)
“Yeah,” I sigh, saying to myself. “The holiday season will be quiet this year. It’s gonna be sad.”
“But, Sarah,” I continue. “Isn’t it petty of you to feel sorry for yourself? You know that God has given you many wonderful celebrations in the past. Don’t be greedy. You can reminisce and ruminate all those times, and besides, if you try, you can make some totally rad memories.”
(‘Rad’ – I looked it up. It is the perfect word. Short for ‘radical’ which means “characterized by departure from tradition. Innovative.”)
“Okay.” I concede. “I’ll try for rad.”
I love words.
I love reading and noticing words, like pep talk and rad, searching the dictionary (Everybody knows ‘pep talk’ is “a talk intended to make someone feel more courageous or enthusiastic.” I do feel better after my self-pep talk), and checking the thesaurus (It didn’t have ‘pep talk’ — only ‘pep.’ Energy, zest, moxie. Moxie? Back to the dictionary. “The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage, a force of character and determination.” Now that’s a good word, just what I need.), and I love the work of writing and editing and mixing words into sentences and paragraphs. (That last sentence is not one of my better ones . . .)
So, one particular word has been stuck in my head for weeks, the word ‘temporary.’
You know what it means. “Lasting for a limited period of time. Brief, passing, momentary.”
There was a day in Ethiopia . . .
I was walking the sandy road, a typical balmy fresh morning when all the African bush sights, sounds, and fragrances were especially peaceful and sweet.
Life was hard for me there. We were isolated and I was alone much of the time. We were committed to stay until our assignment – build a camp – was finished, but of course, it progressed slower than we expected and only God knew how long it would take.
Not-knowing the future is hard for me.
I often complained to God, “How long, Lord? How long will we will have to stay here?”
I was running out of moxie, you could say, and I wanted it to end.
But God used the word ‘temporary’ to change my perspective.
I realized that I would get what I wanted – our time there would end – BUT at the same time I would lose all the good parts, the richness of our simple life.
I would miss those peaceful morning walks.
It is important to value the good aspects of our lives in the moment, because it is all temporary.
I think God is into pep talk. He’s all about inspiring courage and enthusiasm.
I imagine Him saying:
“Sarah, stay alert.
Expect Me to act.
I will give you all the moxie you need, to handle the losses and the sadness and be able to recognize and value all the good that I am doing.”
Okay, I got it.
Thanksgiving may be quiet and Christmas odd, but if I trust God and get creative, this holiday season can be totally rad.