Not So Still

Dave Smith

Well, 2018 really did not sneak in on quiet tippy-toes.  Brittle crunches accompanied each stride and breezes sent its chill shadows across midnight revelry.  Frozen leaves and twigs added a frosting of crackle as salt futilely flung on ice just scattered across sidewalks.  The ball still dropped, weddings occurred, and music easily drifted into a black sky.  A joy came in the visibility of that ginormous moon, silver glowed through memories.  New Year’s door swung wide while the old year’s creaked shut on tired, unoiled hinges.  Its clunk sealed 2017 into yesterday, a thick oak barrier that opens for visits, but not welcoming to those who desire residence “back then.”  The 66° setting on my thermostat encouraged tight wrap in a fleece throw, the pictured great horned owl always close, always warmth.  So, 2018, man what a cold start!

I wonder how cold the stable as days passed prior to required travel for Mary, Joseph, and the Christ child?  Visitors popped in, much like they do in our day to check on a newborn.  Also came with gifts, great praise, and adoration of prophecy fulfilled.  We don’t get that so much nowadays.  Shepherds, wise men, kings – maybe Mary exulted at not having to stress over cleaning and just wearied a little at all the guests – perhaps even became very confused about all the attention.  But, as we all know, her acceptance of God’s plan ran very deep even in the knowledge that, from birth, Jesus, beginning with Herod’s orders, was marked for death.  The natural warmth of the stable, the angelic over-watch, the joy in a newborn.  “Mary did you know you touched the face of God…” (Mark Lowry lyrics).  Yes, so she was told and how warm she must have been.  Chosen.  Glorified.  The earthly parent of Jesus.

This new year doesn’t bring resolutions for me.  Gave up on those quite long ago, the failure happening way to soon.  Seems like a built in “guilt” I don’t need anymore.  The 365 days gone by and now the 2 days traversed into 2018 feel markedly different.  Quite a few bends in the road back there, you know, through that oaken door that allows visits but not wallow.  Having simply accepted “ahead” as the way to go, a calm has settle on me.  I think of Yogi Berra’s comment, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”  Great advice – don’t fret the fork, take a road in belief it offers God’s plan.  Might have to make a mistake or two – did a lot of that through the other door.  Faith goes forward or I am not sure what happens.  Can wither, can die, can tangle with weeds, can become hollow of thought and deed – and maybe that’s a plan, too.  In hardship comes strength, recognition of commitment, perseverance, and the life promised at journey end.  Mary certainly came to that Yogi Berra thought – pardon the analogy, please.  Chosen.  No hesitation.  Yes, Lord.  Mary DID know.

A couple errands require move into this sub-zero day.  I did little January 1, so this marks the first real steps into the phase.  I call it a time of discovery as last year presented a whole bunch of learning.  Maybe I became wiser.  The blessings I received will create growth in the way God chooses.  I look forward to finding messages in nature, ideas in the “around me” time of life.  After all, I do enjoy the past thinks thunk and the new thoughts to come.