Today I took down our Christmas tree. Yes, I know it is January 29th. The thing is, is that it’s just not as fun taking it down as it is putting it up. The beginning of December I was like: “Oh let’s get the Christmas tree out and decorate it. We can sing Christmas songs, watch Christmas movies, and drink hot chocolate. Everyone will dance around like happy little elves, and the world will be merry.” Fun! But when December 26th hit I was like: “I’m tired. Christmas is exhausting. The tree can stay up a little longer” Week after week passed where we just stared at the tree. Everyone knew needed to be taken care of, but no one wanted to take the initiative to do it. It takes time, it’s messy, and it leaves an empty space you have to fill when it’s gone. Then, someone who doesn’t live with you tells you that you should do something about it, so you’re like… Ugh… Yeah, probably so. I can’t put this off any longer.
It made me think how relatable that is to life. Have you ever had something that is just there, lingering around like an elephant in the room? It could be trouble in marriage, finances, boyfriend/girlfriend issues, a relationship with your parents, brother, sister, kids, work, losing weight, addiction, or so many other things. You recognize the need to do something about it because the problem won’t take care of itself. But, you just don’t want to because it’s going to take work, could get messy, or leave a hole. Maybe you aren’t the only one who recognizes it; maybe someone else in the situation is also avoiding taking action too.
The profound thing about a Christmas tree teardown and a life elephant in the room is that the process is similar. I took the star off the tree first. Then I began to take off each ornament one by one, careful not to break the sentimental ones. The lights came next. The tree wasn’t pretty anymore, it looked bare and unlively. In that moment, though, I was committed to the process. There was no turning back. I removed the star from the top, and all that was left was the tree itself. Next was the tree top. At that moment, a light started shining through the curtains from behind the tree. Branch by branch I took and put in the box until there were none left. The structure and base remained. I disassembled that, and Christmas was officially over. It was behind me. A giant hole and a big mess was all that was left, but the brightest light was shining through the curtains. I opened the curtains, and everything felt better. The light made the mess clear for the eye to see, but the great thing about messes is that with some hard work they clean up.
I thought to myself that if I had opened the curtains a month ago, maybe I would’ve seen the mess earlier. Maybe the light would have made the situation happier and given me more incentive to take action sooner. After all, who doesn’t like light? That’s how God works. He’s the light. We recognize a situation in our lives and think we can hide from it, that we can put it off, that someone else will do the hard work. What if we let the light in sooner? How much happier could we be? Sure, work is hard, but the end result is so very bright!
Peace, Love, and Jesus,