For Christians and those who live in the United States and celebrate the winter holiday – time is passing much too quickly. Two and a half weeks more of Advent, and Madpriest is fussing about putting up Christmas decorations during Advent. Let me tell you, if we didn’t start putting up decorations right after Thanksgiving (and some stores do it immediately after Halloween), we would never get them all up.
And, what would motivate us to buy all those presents. And, how would the stores stay in business without the wonderful Christmas promotions that lure us into the store and send us away with bagsful of stuff that no one really needs. I mean, how many pairs of fuzzy “stay-at-home” socks can you use in a warm climate? But they were on sale at half price – so nearly everyone on my Christmas list will get a pair. Of course, a few of them do live in areas where warm fuzzy socks might be really nice. The only one who is not getting warm fuzzy socks is Jonathan, whose size 13 or so foot prevents my finding ones to fit.
For others time is erratic. Christmas is speeding nearer, and they have done little in preparation. For instance, my God-daughter has been to court several times with her seriously disturbed daughter who is soon to be placed in a therapeutic home. She spends much of her day at the hospital with her husband, who had antibiotic resistant pneumonia, a serious kidney reaction to the contrast dye, a heart attack, and who knows what else. He’s been there more than three weeks now, and there’s no talk of sending him home. So time is dragging for her at the hospital. Her section 8 housing inspection is next week, and she’s not the greatest housekeeper in the world under normal circumstances. So time is speeding along with the government system.
How do we understand time? I can’t possibly be as old as the calendar says. A few days ago I saw a delightful woman, and I thought, “I’m a lot like her.” Then I realized that I am probably 20 years older than her, 50 pounds heavier, and have many more physical ailments and less physical ability. I am getting old. I am getting disabled. But, I don’t think of myself that way. Some days are much slower than others – by choice or not. And, some days seem to slip by without my having noticed that another day is gone. I’m busy, I’m active, I’m slow, I’m in bed, I feel good, I hurt. These are all aspects of time for me.
And, Christmas – the incarnation of God – is so special that I could never celebrate it for only 12 days. Sometimes I leave the red bows up until February, take them down after Valentine’s Day. It seems to me that crowding the cycles of life, the cycles of the church, the cycles of God into a year’s schematic, is just not workable. I agree that the Christmas decorations must come down, Advent must come and go, Lent must come and end at Easter, which must dawn glorious. But, I never seem to be ready for one season to end before another is already begun. Perhaps I am just time-disabled.