12 Days To Christmas - Beginnings
Should I continue with this Christmas tradition of mine? Or shall I just skip it this year altogether?
After all, I haven't done much blogging this year, and so - I felt - it wouldn't make much difference whether or not I write something.
For two years, I've done my 12 days to Christmas series and must admit that there's always that little thought nagging me -- does it really make any difference what I write? Is the world out there really waiting for my voice to be heard again? Do I have something to say that needs to be said and cannot be silenced any longer?
Now that's the thing. Most of us will never ever know what impact our little actions or words will have in the eternal scheme of things. We are so saturated with the short term that for many the long term view of things appears strange, mysterious, foreign and unnecessary. It's so far away that we don't feel the need to include it in our daily reckonings of things that matter.
But whichever way we look at it, we cannot escape the fact that words like actions have consequences, and it doesn't matter if those consequences are in the short term or in the long term. There are consequences and it's up to us to measure the steps we take, the words we utter, the thoughts we think and ensure that a delicious residue remains as a gentle reminder of our presence.
In a way it's the same with writing, I guess. We may never know if the stories and poems we write have any impact whatsoever. I'm sure there are people who might differ since they are very sure about their objectives but that's not everyone. For most of us it's catharsis that provides the inspiration and the entree process becomes a sort of a voyage of discovery.
Or at least it's supposed to be.
The point I am making is that it doesn't really matter if I have a clearer assessment of the impact words have on people who are not in my circle of friends. One must write because one has to. The most genuine writing usually emerges from such a process -- the writers and the artists produce works of lasting quality by being crazily absorbed in producing it.
In a strange and twisted way, this ties in very well with the Christmas story as well.
The Jewish people waited for the Messiah to come and free them from imperial Rome's clutches. But when the Messiah did come, He was unwelcome because He came as a baby in a manger and His message of salvation was not political but personal redemption. In other words, the consequences of the birth of the Christ child in Bethelehem was not fantastic when you look at the birth by itself and ignore the bigger picture of Christ's soul transforming work.
What the Christmas story really tells us is... never ignore the bigness of small beginnings.