Just this morning Christmas bells wrapped in tissue were placed in a box. Since being purchased a week or so ago, their only ringing was muffled as they never made it out of their tissue paper cocoon. I had an idea of who to give them to, but never got around to it. Maybe next year.
The house is quiet today. The only sound is that of a quiet hum of a new kitchen appliance and the occasional yelp of our Schnauzer announcing that someone, or some pesky cat is walking down our street.
The house also seems quite empty. Our Christmas tree and our dollar store nutcracker collection has gone back into its eleven month hibernation. Missing from my vision, as I type, are the Christmas tree lights whose rays stretch out and merrily bump into one another when you squint your eyes.
Strangely I'm not saddened by either the silence or space. In fact, I'm kind of energized. 2018 is around the corner, and for all that's been put away and removed, boundless opportunity is in its place.
Two days ago I enjoyed a movie with a caravan of family members. Prior to our screen time we'd stuffed ourselves with chips and salsa and fajitas. After purchasing our tickets, still full, I was asked by the man behind the counter if we wanted any concessions. Why not?, I asked myself. And so I ordered. He held up a novelty plastic bucket commemorating Star Wars, a movie I've neither seen, or care to see. Want your popcorn in this limited edition container?, he probed. And again I answered, Why not? It's a question I daily rhetorically ask and answer.
Why not eat that thing...buy that thing...do that thing?
This morning that bucket lies useless on my kitchen counter. It's a reminder that there's a more important question than Why not. With this gift of another year I intend to start asking myself a different question...Why?
Why do we waste money on the things we don't need?
Why do we throw away time when experience tells us that each day is precious and not in-expendable, contrary to the way we're so accustomed to behave?
Why do we allow the purposeless to crowd beautiful space we've been given?
Why do we get used-up and bruised by the Why-nots, that army of the insignificant, when God has so much more in store for us, things that really matter?
Why does God have me here on earth? Among this group of people? "At such a time as this...?"
And one last, less-important question, Why is that commemorative Star Wars bucket still on my kitchen counter?
...Anybody want it?
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
May your 2018 be so empty it's full!