You know that feeling when the words stick with you? They may be kind words or hurtful words or mean words or just plain off the wall, but for whatever reason they are there in your conscious.
Recently I was at the dentist for my six month cleaning and the new-to-the-practice receptionist was quizzing me about the usual data; address, phone, insurance, blah, blah, blah. After verifying all my information, with a smile on her face she replied, “your lack of change is admirable.” I have absolutely no idea why this surprised me but it felt like a punch in the gut. Just because I haven’t had a change in my physical dwelling, does that mean I haven’t changed? Does it depend on the type of change? We can change our jobs, our vocation, our city of residence, is that the only incremental change we can really accomplish?
Consider the adage that a zebra can’t change its stripes or the oft-quoted, “the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior” hence the assumption that a person at their core never really changes. Is it possible that we can and do change, but when we are pushed up against a wall or into a corner, we revert to our pre-change life/behavior/attitude? Of course we can’t change other people, but if the desire/drive/motivation is there, if the draw is powerful enough, are we personally capable of change? Can we be calmer, kinder, more compassionate, sillier, nicer, and/or more thoughtful?
I think about these things as I wonder and wander through Advent. I wonder what ways you and I will let our hearts be lightened and illuminated, be changed this Advent. Is there forgiveness to be offered and received that will change you heart and create more space on the way to Bethlehem? Are you the you that needs to be forgiven? Wishing you Advent Blessings and the space to let the Christ child change you this Christmas.