Joy at Christmas

“We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.”
Max de Pree

Christmas is all about giving-giving of ourselves, our time, our money, and little presents that show how much we care about those in our lives.  This year I’ve been thinking a lot about growing and what it means to grow and how we decide which ways to focus our growth.  As I was thinking about Christmas and growing, I realized that giving is part of growing.  We can’t grow if we don’t expand, think about a flower, it has to grow from a tiny seed and as it grows it reaches into the dirt and into the air and often touches other plants that surround it.  The seed couldn’t grow into a flower if it stayed hidden inside its shell.

As with us, we can’t stay hidden from the word, or rather we shouldn’t.  The world can be a scary place, there are people who are different than us, people who need more space than others, and people who need people more than others. And just like being with other people and interacting in the world can be risky, growing is too.

But what I’ve learned is that the only way to find happiness and joy is to take some risks.  Had I gotten a job when I needed one I would have probably been miserable.  Instead I started a business and have been happy.  All choices have risks, options and challenges associated with them.  It’s up to us to decide which choices will be the best for us and those around us.

I can’t create joy for the families in Connecticut this Christmas, just a few days away. But I can think about what will help this tragedy from happening again, and join with others around the country and world praying for openness, healing and eventually joy to be brought to the situation and these people’s lives.

This Christmas I invite you to celebrate the beauty and joy that is in the world.  We are stronger together than we are apart.

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