Sliding towards Christmas

I’m thinking about what it feels like to slide.

Imagine sliding down a playground slide: feeling pure delight, feeling carefree and on top of the world.

Remember how it feels to go down a really awesome slide? Again and again?

But there’s always that bad slide ride.

I’m thinking of times when the slide is not slippery enough and you get stuck halfway down…getting stuck sucks.

Or how about when the surface is so hot that it burns the bottom of your thighs. Ouch!

This Christmas I notice lots of sliding going on…we slip slide along with others towards the day when we hope something special will be felt, heard, spoken, seen, received or given.

Big feelings slide towards Christmas with us; fears and worries, too.

Will he stay sober?

Will she drink too much?

Will they show up?

Will she make a scene?

Will we fight?

Will we be happy?

Will I be alone?

Will she take her meds?

Will I be able to get out of bed?

Will this be our last Christmas together?

Why do I feel depressed?

What’s wrong with me?

How will I get through the holidays?

Do I really have to [fill in the blank]?

We don’t want to ruin Christmas, so we try not to stay stuck halfway down the slide.

But it’s hard not to get stuck with all the fears sliding around in our heads.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all our fears and worries could just slip down a slide (a good and fast slide) in our head and fly right out our left ear?

Many of us are sliding towards Christmas this year.

We hope it’s a good slide.

But chances are good that it won’t be perfect.

Experience tells us that we might stop short or get burned or bump into others on the way down.

Then there’s always the kid who scrambles back up the slide right when it’s your turn to go down…slam!

But you know what?

We are all on this playground together.

There’s no secret about the slide.

We want it to be fun.

But sometimes it’s not.

We get disappointed and hurt.
We disappoint and hurt others.

Maybe next time when you feel like this holiday season is not bringing you joy, imagine yourself going down this long, slippery, twisty slide…and yell out “weeeeee!”

And look for me because I’m coming down the slide right behind you.

Published by Sarah Griffith Lund

Leader, preacher and author of *Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Church and Family*

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