Every year, I seem to have a certain nostalgia for winter, bad nostalgia that is.
The other day, my dad and I decided to scope out some cross country trails. He had been an avid skier and was reminiscing on all the places he went to ski.
We drove down a windy, small road wondering if we were on the right path. All of a sudden, it appeared, a parking sign for our destination. But we saw it too late and drove past our entrance.
I moved to the side of the narrow road to make a y-turn. Only, I guess the road was a little more narrow then I thought and we slipped halfway down, with two tires on the road and two tires in the snow.
We walked to the ski lodge and the desk worker offered to help us, after his shift was over…three hours later. As we waited, we scouted the parking lot for anyone else that could help.
Finally, I got frustrated with myself and went for a walk to my sad car. This car was a symbol of my failures. Over and over again, I saw only my flaws. What was the point? I was just going to continue to fail.
About to burst into tears, I turned around to see a guy putting his cross country gear into his truck! We ran over to him (probably super awkwardly) and asked if he would be willing to pull my car out. He said he certainly would try. Hallelujah!
As we hooked up my car, I asked if he had ever gotten his truck stuck. He smiled at me and said, “Oh yeah. There was a time in my life where I thought getting stuck in ditches had become my profession. Don’t worry about it. I’ve been there.”
This might sound super subsurface to you, but to me, his words helped me realize something deeper. Perfection is impossible. Even those people with beautiful lives and perfect families on social media are hurting and messy. Those Instagram pictures show what they want you to see.
But you and I know that life is so messy. And that, folks, is what Christmas is about. It’s not about gifts or food comas or family card games.
It’s about God meeting us at our level. Christmas is the moment God became man. Jesus walked the earth, flipped tables, went fishing with his buds, celebrated at a wedding and deeply mourned when his dear friend died.
He hung out with broken people: Zacchaeus, the woman at the well, the leper and the blindingly self-righteous. He came to walk side by side with us in our struggles. He listens, he tells us like it is and he died for us. What greater love is there?
This Christmas season, simply sit in His presence. Talk about your struggles to God and others. He gets it. Maybe this week has been rough. Maybe this year has been the worst. Maybe life in general seems hopeless. It’s not, Christmas is our reminder.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14