The closer Christmas gets, the more I default to “do it now or die” mode.
Not exactly portraying the Christmas spirit. But I’d be a heck of an advertisement for the Energizer Bunny.
I found myself daydreaming a few evenings ago. I still had a lot to do before I could consider heading to bed. Waiting for a load of laundry to be put in the dryer; waiting to finish a casserole for a morning meeting the following day; waiting to start the dishwasher until a few dishes in use were ready.
I sat at the table, closing my eyes for just a moment.
And imagined I was being chased by three fat snowmen who didn’t look too happy.
This is Florida, so they were rather drippy and dismal. Their mouths made out of coal were drooping, making them look miserable.
Shoulda, Woulda and Coulda. My three Christmas tormenters.
Shoulda was blaming me for not being more efficient with my time. Being lazy and irresponsible because I watched “Elf” with my daughter and son-in-law. Instead of being more productive.
Woulda was whining about all the things he wished I had done–if I hadn’t been gone a week helping my daughter with her new baby. If I’d made a plan that I would have started on a month ago. If I’d have been more proactive and less go-with-the-flow.
Coulda was yelling, urging me to try harder. To not quit while there were still hours left in the day. To push through and finish well. To never say never–even though he was dripping the most.
Snarky, melting faces that mocked my efforts. Nothing I did was going to be good enough for them.
Then the washing machine buzzed. And the snarkmen receded into the corners of my mind.
I expect a lot of myself. I’m a bit of an achiever. A closet Type A personality. Which sometimes runs amok with my tendency towards adaptability. As easy going as I can be, there are times when I look at the world through snark eyes.
Christmas is one of those seasons.
My three snarky friends love to rain–snow–on my parade. Shoulda, Woulda and Coulda are jolly and grinning. In the beginning. But as the pressure builds and situations heat up, they become what they really are–a melting mess of complaints and dissatisfaction. Making me feel like what I do can never be what is needed.
This is what the Christmas story is all about. Jesus came into a world full of shouldas, wouldas and couldas. People trying hard to do the right thing. To live good lives. But all of us are bogged down by these tormenters who remind us that we could have done it better.
Jesus came, full of grace and truth. To give us fresh eyes. To see God coming to us, reminding us that He’s always wanted to restore our relationships with Him. To live–and die–for us so we can have life. With Him.
Fresh eyes to see hope. To see past the snarkmen in our lives.
Warm enough to melt the cold hardness of of all our shouldas, wouldas and couldas.
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