On the second day of Christmas, everyone is in a frenzy to hit the sales, exchange unwanted or ill-fitting gifts, or just to get out of the house and tramp around in the sea of humanity once again. I get that. The crescendo of excitement that happens the week before Christmas, ending on the day itself, ebbs to a flat line and produces a familiar restlessness at the core of every human heart. Our thoughts return with predictable repetition: time to get going again; time to focus back on my own needs and desires; time to mingle at the mall in the relieved aftermath of a month of partying and preparing. Honestly, I’ve been there plenty of times in the past often against my better judgment. However, I notice that no matter how many “good deals” there are, the buying never makes me any less restless. In short, the excursion only produces a temporary distraction from the old anxieties about life’s challenges. Nothing ever satiates for long. So on this second day of Christmas, I surrender my urge to consume and decide to do something different. I take a long walk at the beach and observe how relaxed everyone is on this beautiful California winter’s day. Children running along the shore, families playing in the sand together, people having picnics or just sitting in the sun watching the glistening water shimmer in the sunlight. The seagulls fly in their ellipical pattern overhead and they fill me with wonder. Why do they always do that? It seems as though they are surrendering to the drafts, to each other, to the warm sun against the azure sky. In the surrender, they look so free from worry or stress just like the others who have joined me in this reverie. I take a picture with my phone, trying to capture the essence of this day. When I look at the results, I see “the light shining in the darkness,” just as the gospel of John proclaims. Surrender, it turns out, is a gift worth celebrating.
Sweet God of Surrender, as I follow in your path, may I always take time to celebrate the wonder and beauty of your creation. Help me to let go and fly with confidence and trust into the brillianceof your shining Light.