But we are created to adore, so there must be a way to navigate our losses and still be joyful. This season it’s time to move beyond what we used to have, to what we want the most. Then, it’s up to us to secure the inertia and movement propelled by the intense push and pull of adoration.
Adoration is more than just a passive approval. It is an intense, purposeful action that consumes us. There are many things in my life I used to adore but no longer can. People, places, and experiences that once brought me such joy in this season have ceased to exist either through death, divorce, or daggers.
If you adore family but find yourself separated from yours, oh come and gather friends, neighbors, even acquaintances, and celebrate the circumstances whereby you have “picked” your relatives. If you adore children but have none, find and honor those already on this planet in need of a caring adult who can pour into them. If you adore the comfort and security of material resources, but find yourself broke and without employment, visit and pour into those who could not work even if they had the opportunity. If you adore the hope of keeping up with your grandkids or exuberant dogs in the years to come, worship your body as a temple and commit to healthy habits needed to ensure peak performance.
I was in Colorado Springs, CO last week speaking at a location within visual range of my alma mater. Thirty years had transpired since I entered the stadium and tossed my cap into the air with my fellow graduates. Thirty Christmases had come and gone. I spent some at home, some in faraway lands, some with the love of my life, some with the intense pain of loss and grief, and some with and without family.
What I’ve discovered is that adoration infuses a new normal that transcends circumstances and time. Transforming truths should transform us, and that is what adoration does. It is a daily reminder, not just at Christmas, that we can walk from earth to eternity equipped with an accurate knowledge that stubborn peace, joy, and confidence is not only a possibility but a necessity. Bittersweet memories and wishful thinking fade away when we embrace and adore what is in our lives right here and right now, and the tremendous possibilities of what has been promised to come.
Each of us has been created to reach out beyond our own grasp. Christmas is a reminder that we are all imprinted with the Imago Dei, the God-seed, within us, and that God wastes nothing, not even our darkness. For that and that alone, I am willing and eager to give the gift of adoration.