In last week’s E-vine reflection Jenny shared that Advent and Christmas are her favorite seasons of the year. These are my favorite seasons as well. I love preparing my heart and my home each year for the season. I immerse myself in savoring the season, in slowing down and reflecting, in doing all the activities that are connected to this time of waiting.
Even though Advent will be ending with the celebration of Christmas, waiting will still happen as part of day-to-day life. At the top of the list of waiting is that we are all still waiting for our world to be safer from Covid-19. We must wait for everything to reopen from schools, to restaurants, to offices and everything in between.
Isaiah 40:31 reminds us They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint. God is with us and has been with us throughout these crazy upside-down experiences of 2020 and will continue to be with us to renew our strength, to help us when we feel we are growing weary or faint from waiting for the pandemic to subside.
I have found myself holding back from doing activities, planning events and fully living during these months as the pandemic has dragged on from the initial expectation that it would be a few weeks of being “out of routine”. I think I thought I would just get to things later, after this is over. I realize this is what many of us have been doing even before a pandemic changed daily life. We hold back from engaging in our best life while we wait for whatever it is we think we need to wait for.
My Dad was one of my best teachers of life lessons. He introduced me to a poem called The Dash. He wanted me to realize it is important to live life fully and to love fully.
poem by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth
and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash.
What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
So, think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.
To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile…
remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash,
would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?
I cherish the memory of him showing me the poem and reading it for the first time. I was reminded of it again when I was preparing for this reflection as I thought about the things I have been “waiting to do” until after the pandemic is behind us.
The time to live is now, the time to love is now, even while we are waiting.