When I was ten or eleven, my Dad told me that most of life is lived in anticipation. I understood him at the time as saying we live in hope.
Another year passed and I understood anticipation as wanting to accelerate my growing up, desiring to be old enough for the good things to happen: turning sweet 16; becoming 21. Every age or stage after that was too much to think about,
Now in my autumn years, I can look back and see anticipation’s influence over the years. In a few more days, I will experience Christmas for the 73rd time. Anticipation sweeps over me, but not like it did when I was a child. The magic is in my memory but the rush and push and society-pervasive anxiety is all too clear. I am living in this anticipation knowing it will be over soon. It will pass. Soon, the love I have for others will have no strings of hastily assembled wrapping paper, overspending, making buying mistakes, and worry. WHO NEEDS THIS NONSENSE?
Christ was a good Jewish boy who left us inspired messages and excellent role-modeling. How did His birthday turn into such craziness?
Maybe next year I will draw the line on this holiday. In a couple of days, this will be done. Anticipation. Sweet anticipation.