At preschool drop-off we made small talk about Thanksgiving break, Christmas, and upcoming lunch-a-bunch.
Three hours later at pick-up, Mom Friend was all smiles.
How was your morning? I asked.
Great, she said. I decorated for Christmas, got out all of the ornaments. Except… her voice trailed for the large empty space where the tree will go.
I waited for her to say she was planning on getting it later today or tomorrow. Or…
It’s just that, well, if I get it this early, her eyes paced back and forth, it may DIE. Ya know, the needles may turn brown and fall off in like two weeks. I’ll probably wait a while.
Call me the Christmas Tree Police but everything in me wanted to beg, to plead on behalf of her children and elves everywhere, to puh-leeeeeze get the tree today.
Nope. She was dead serious. M.kay.
We signed our boys out and waved see ya later.
Her words echoed. It may DIE.
May? Of course it will die. It will surely die. Probably by next Tuesday.
Thank you Jesus for pine scented candles. (Not really. Ew.)
What’s the alternative? Keep the space empty and vacant and free of temporary life?
When we risk anything, we recognize caution behind our heart offering. And under caution, murky fear.
Whether it’s a tree, or a friendship, or learning to say no, risk is involved. We risk daily in finances, parenting decisions, and getting behind a wheel. Isn’t life really just one ginormous risk?
If we risk love, we may get hurt.
If we risk our dreams, we may fumble along the way.
If we risk faith, we may endure much pain.
If we buy a Christmas tree now, it may perish before December 25th.
I’m here to say. It will happen.
Our hearts will be bruised.
Our egos too.
Our faith will be tested.
And our trees will turn brown and its needles fall to the ground. Those needles will, in fact, confetti every.single.gift by Christmas morn.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery says “Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.”
The rest of the day, it may DIE played on repeat in my head. After a bit, I wondered what happens if I adjust may to will. It will die. How does that focus today?
A life void of risk is a life postponed.
Knowing life is a sneeze, I’m taking inventory of large empty spaces, the stuff I’m putting off for when I know it will be a sure thing. Which really, is never a sure thing.
Are you staring at vacant spot in your marriage, career, or that relationship that you can’t help but think about? What about the obvious hole in wherever your mind directly lands this moment?
And dive in.
Life is short. Let’s not postpone it for two weeks of a sure thing.
I wanna risk dead needles for weeks of fresh pine scent.
Hard communication for deep relationships.
Broken eggs for rich brownies.
Lonely roads to follow Him.
I wanna use nice china for everyday sloppy joes and cloth napkins for spaghetti.
Oh, sweet risk.
I want to fill large empty spaces with life, life, and more life. Not because it’s easy, but growing.