Jenni and I enjoyed a lovely sunset the other night, but I felt that instead of representing the end of a beautiful day in the Florida Keys, it represented the end of a year wonderfully INVESTED. Our year exploring the country with our kids has come to a close. How could we not be saddened as the light from the glorious sun faded from view? What comes next is darkness, right? The end of the day - a beautiful time.
I am also reminded that it is only after the sunset that the stars come out. Things that were not apparent before are clear once our eyes adjust. A million points of light now shine. A million suns. It is amazing to contemplate that some of those points are hundreds of billions of miles away yet they shine brightly. Only after dark, can we see their light.
I am personally clinging to this truth, this mystery, this Christmas. Life is about to change again. This time last year it was hard to slow down and consider Christmas. I was WAY too stressed out with our departure date fast upon us. We were living out of the back of a minivan. Many of the things that were our identity before like work and home were being redefined, not by external factors beyond our control but by our choosing. Almost every day I was silently asking myself if I was crazy to be taking our family on this wild ride.
We took a some big risks to do this because we thought it would be worth it. We didn't know what the future would hold but we felt we didn't want to look back on this time and wish that we had taken the chance, taken the risk, stepped out into the unknown. As it turns out, this was one of the BEST DECISIONS we have ever made. Now Jenni and I (and our kids) have more than the great memories of this trip and a deeper sense of family identity. We have learned something about taking risks in life. Not silly or hasty risks. Not ones that represent running away from important issues or decisions. Just risking the safe and comfortable to seek something more valuable. Sometimes you have to trust and push through the fear. It will be worth it and there are great lessons in the journey.
This year at Christmas, while surrounded by so many decisions about 2014 and beyond we will strive to sit back and enjoy this time. To soak it in. Is the celebration of the greatest gift ever given worthy of our attention? We think so. Will it be hard to slow our minds that are often distracted by the cares of the day? We know so.
So here is our wish. We hope this is a season and time when we can all enjoy the light that fills our lives today - without worries about tomorrow. May we all enjoy this time exactly as it is. It is part of our journey.
Merry Christmas from the Keiter family, and to all a good night.