Tonight at Grabill Missionary Church a bunch of people are putting up trees. We’re putting up lights. We’re hanging wreaths. We’re putting poinsettias on the steps. We’re playing Christmas music. We’re eating pizza and drinking coffee.
Helen won’t be there. She does decorating all the time around here and this year, this Christmas, she’s not.
She made a commitment to NOT do it this year. She’s not quitting church. In fact, she is doing A. and B. and C. and D. Every Sunday she does E. But she committed to release the decorating this year.
It’s hard. Yesterday we walked around and she showed me where everything is stored and where it has gone in the past. Boxes are well labeled. Extension cords are even with the lights which are with the trees. She was kind of like Odysseus, lashed to the mast, listening to the Siren song of bells and balls and baubles.
I understand Helen. I understand what it is like to be committed to doing things, to feel a kind of failure when you don’t do them. But tonight, about 20 people are going to get together and figure it out.
These 20 people need this kind of event. It will help them to work together, to laugh together, to argue together (politely, I’m sure) about what color goes where.
By Helen’s commitment to release this piece for this year, she will laugh at Christmas and 20 other people will own Christmas. I don’t want to sound patronizing, but I am so proud of Helen.
It’s making me think as I write. What are the projects that I need to release so others can delight in the struggle?
What about you?