Wrapped in the Unexpected
In this last week of Advent, I must admit that the anxieties of the season has not surpassed.
I was in an interesting conversation the other day when I was challenged to think about the life and purpose. This question was asked to me, "What do you think is the purpose of life?"
I didn't have an answer. I tried to come up with something profound on the fly. You know the words we try to throw together in order to sound deep and intelligent. However, nothing came out.
My friend suggested to me that a possible purpose of life is to love and be loved. That was it, nothing too deep or philosophical. This answer was simple.
But, I realize it can be so hard to attain.
I believe that love is what many of us seek in life. We desire relationships that matter. We want to feel respected. We want to feel valued and appreciated. Even at the root of love, I think that there is the fear of reciprocity. It's not so much that we will receive love, but are we willing to give this same love unselfishly if the opportunity presents itself.
Love beckons us to see the possibilities when life is filled with uncertainty.
When I think of the Christmas story, I think of the love that entered into the world wrapped in the unexpected.
From conception to birth, everything about this life-changing event was abnormal.
God did not choose wealthy parents. They weren't even married. They didn't have any money. No title, no prestige. Yet, God chose Mary and Joseph, a teenage girl and carpenter.
The surprise of her pregnancy must have signaled several emotions-- fear, anxiety, worry, anger. I could imagine that this unexpected news stirred up some questions as well about their future, their reputation, the ability to provide for a child, their safety.
However, God chose them and they decided to live through this difficult season with faithfulness.
As Mary and Joseph struggled to find the right place to deliver their son, I doubt that they knew that they would end up in a barn. I even wonder if they knew that they would have to face this moment alone.
This had to have been one of the most doubtful moments in their young lives. They most likely encountered the similar feeling that some of us have when it seems like a situation can't get any worse.
In the midst of all of the unexpected disappointments that they found on their journey to Jerusalem, God met them and wrapped them with Divine provision so that love could be born.
That night, in the manger, love was wrapped in the unexpected to teach us what it means about the purpose of life. Christ was born so that we can know what it means to love and be love.
God's love allowed for Christ to know even the most vulnerable human moments.
The times of unrest when we don't have the answers. The several disappointments we are forced to endure when multiple doors close in our faces. The increase in confusion when they are several important decisions that need to be made in order to survive.
The Christmas story illuminates for us an alternative method to view suffering. When the unexpected shows up in our lives, remember that Christ has gone before us and is with us in that space.
As the symbol for true love, he brings light into our darkness and gives us hope.
- The unexpected gift of love comes to us in various ways.
- It gives us the freedom to be in the present and to pay attention to the joy surrounding us.
- Centering on this gift can help us deal with all of the uncomfortable feelings that may come with the holidays.
Christ shows up in the unexpected!
What would happen if we decided to give ourselves permission to focus our thoughts on the love that was wrapped in the unexpected? It's possible that we may truly know what it means to feel joy.
During this season, let us give gratitude of the love that was born so that we can develop the courage to live with purpose.