The Nature of New: New Things Day 12

I made a mistake today and thought too much about the short weeks between now and the end of this year, the low amount of money this summer has left in our bank account, about commitments and financial obligations, birthdays, holidays, holiday meals, travel, expenses...Life.  I thought about life, and the very magnitude of it was all a bit weighty and depressing.

I'd like to find a new way to do Christmas but I think I'm the only person (besides Hunky) in our entire families who are on board with that. I'm trying to come up with lists of ideas for things we don't need, some of which we don't really want so that truly loving people can give us things. I'm trying to come up with ideas so we can reciprocate and...well...eat and buy gas.  Don't get me wrong, I really do love Christmas, just not so much the having to have a Christmas budget when we already have so much it's disgusting part of it.

It led me to really thinking about new things...not new toys or clothes, but new perspectives, new concepts, new ways of living...they can be so tricky and are often met with resistance and confusion, and sometimes even downright belligerence. We're such a funny group who hang on tightly to the known and comfortable because it's the way things are done.  I have been as guilty as anyone in this.

We tend to equate new things with being ill-fitting, uncomfortable and unknown, and I think more often than not, we're more than a little worried about looking inept while we fumble about in situations that aren't at all familiar.  Again, I know myself too well, and appearing inept is something I will attempt to avoid at almost any cost.

However, I've come to find that status quo leads to a false sense of security, and that comfort is generally vastly overrated.  When we're following the crowd we don't have to think or reason, we just float along on the stream of familiarity and build each other up with empty platitudes on how well we are doing being just like everyone else. It feels good; it's easy and everybody's doing it. No one's feelings are hurt.

What I also know is that it's not growing us in any way or making us better or teaching us anything at all to take the easy road. It's certainly not doing anything to change the world, and when I stop listening to all the comfortable voices of common culture, isn't that what I'm really being called to do? We're entering the season of giving and I'm wondering what I'm actually giving and why. It doesn't make me feel comfortable at all, but it is making me think about what I can do for the rest of this year that isn't a new thing in a pretty box with a bow but a new way of loving and being that makes what's next different and better than it is now.


Nancy Dodson said...

We are doing "Nothing New Christmas" which is an idea I stole from a coworker and loved. It can be bought (either thrift store or secondhand) or made. But not a new item. New to us? Sure. Completely new? No way. And I have the former spouse, aka father of the children, on board. I am uber excited. Extended family? Not so much.

And, once again, I have not shared much because God is not finished percolating this fresh brew in my spirit, but you and I are so completely on the same page right now, it is scary.

I love you.
Or loue yot.
Whichever you prefer.

triuneoflife said...

" I've come to find that status quo leads to a false sense of security, and that comfort is generally vastly overrated."

Yeah. That whole paragraph.