What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

30 December 2006

And what have you done?

I was going to start with "So this is Christmas," but people may begin to think I'm looney if I do that, since Christmas is "so last week!" now. More looney, that is.

However, John Lennon's song has been kicking around in my head for a couple of weeks, ever since the day I looked it up online to listen (since I do kind of like the song) and got Chad addicted to it, too. He's been playing it in season and out of season (okay, just in season) since mid-December.

So, my husband being the inquisitive person that he is, Chad looked up all he could find about the song, Lennon's intentions in the song, what he said about it himself, etc. And it turns out (surprise, surprise) that this song is, in fact, anti-everything.

However, I am not entirely distressed about this fact. For one thing, the song is in my head, and try as I might, it won't go away. So I may as well embrace it. For another, it asks (however cynically) a very good question: What have you done?

"So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun."

What have I done with my year? Not a lot, I must admit. The turn of the year is a good time to evaluate priorities, attitudes, actions, life in general, etc. And when I think of the friends I could have encouraged, the strangers to whom I could have shown kindness, the prayers unsaid, the food wasted that I could have sent to the food bank, the time wasted on the internet that could have been spent helping someone, the snarky remarks I could have kept to myself-- what have I done? Lived another year for myself.

And I wish-- oh, how I wish I could say, "This year will be different!" But will it? It's not as though I don't think these same thoughts every year. Another year over, a new one just begun. Or about to, anyway. Can 2007 be the year I finally say, "My time on earth is too short to spend focused on myself." Is this the year I will encourage, be kind, pray, share, help, give, control my tongue? Is this the year I realise that time is a precious commodity, not to be wasted filling in endless "about me" surveys that (maybe) two people read or collecting friends on myspace? I look around at Christendom, and I see that (for the most part) we aren't getting it, and we don't seem to care-- our culture has produced a twisted form of following Jesus that makes it all part of the political game, that seems (to me) to be so divorced from the life that Jesus calls us to. Is this the year I step out in faith, telling God, "Use me!", regardless of how "weird" or "fanatical" others think such a move is? Is this the year I stop looking at the crowd, stop complaining about everyone else, and do something? Is this the year I take literally, "Love one another as you love yourself?" What about people who hate me? What about the person who cuts me off in traffic? What about people who refuse to take me seriously? What about those who are rude, crude, selfish, and (seemingly) a waste of skin? How do I love them?

However much I try to be an extrovert and enjoy myself with others, I remain very much a reserved person, just as happy at home as anywhere else, just as content being silent in a group as speaking-- how do I step out and encourage others? How do I let other people know they are important to me, and more so to God? When every fibre of my being is screaming at me to sit down and be silent, how do I reach out and help?

If only I had the answers to these questions.

So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun. What have I done? Nothing. Another year over. What a pity. Another year wasted, opportunities passed that may never return. A new one just begun. A chance for a fresh start. To be the woman God wants me to be. To live with others in mind. To put myself last.

Sad, isn't it, that is takes a song which the songwriter intended to be anti-everything to wake up these thoughts within me. It is my hope that I can face 2008 with very clear answers to, "So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun."

And if that isn't a New Year's resolution, I don't know what is.

1 comment:

Lita said...

Some of this stuff has been on my mind a lot lately--I want to make my life the real deal. Sometimes, I think, I am an expert at outwitting myself in this. Mostly I think I tend to overcomplicate things that should be simple and leave out the simple things that really must be done, too. I'm trying now to concentrate on the simple and obvious--work hard, study and ask questions. As of my first week back at school, it seems to be an improvement in some areas of my life. We'll see how it goes.