I’m getting to a time when I’m starting to feel uncomfortable in Oklahoma.
No, no one has done anything, and I knew that it was coming, but I’m feeling like I don’t belong.
I couldn’t place what it was, but yesterday it hit me. I was driving through Oklahoma City, trying to find a good way from my new house in the Paseo district to the CLOKC churches in the southeast corner of the city. I tried driving through downtown. I headed south on Classen to Reno and toward the churches. While driving through downtown, I was looking at all of the Christmas and holiday decorations and listening to the radio. I had found one station that was playing Christmas songs, and while sitting at a stoplight, a song came on, and I realized why I felt like I don’t belong.
The song was, “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow.”
My hometown of Saginaw has already had a couple of snow storms and is scheduled to get a wintery mix this weekend, while where I was in Wisconsin has also faced some snow storms and has a “snow event” in the forecast this weekend. A snow event is the weather people’s way of saying, “It’s going to snow. We just don’t know how much you will get.”
There was a “snow event” the weekend that I moved down here. They said gave equal chances of the accumulation being less than 6 inches as it was to be more than 6 inches. We got 15 inches.
And that is why I’m feeling uncomfortable.
I’m used to having scrappers in the car, along with a winter kit of extra gloves and hats, as well as a blanket. The heavy coats are at the front of the closet, as are the snow boots. I have a whole assortment of scarves!
Yes, it has dipped below freezing. Yes, we had some snow accumulation. (Ananias was not happy to re-encounter snow.)
But it is different. And I’m trying to adjust. But I’m not doing well.
I’m thinking of taking a whole bunch of songs off of my playlists. “Sleigh Ride,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Frosty the Snowman.” They’ve gotta go! “White Christmas?” Maybe, just maybe.
But that’s fine. You don’t have to have snow to have Christmas. I’m reasonably sure there was no snow at the first Christmas. And shoveling and scraping are just distractions from the important reason for the season.
As you prepare for Christmas, even if things seem out of sorts, take time to remember the gift that we all celebrate, not just on December 25, but every day of our lives. Remember what is at the heart of all of this chaos. God decided to become one of us. God became a person, born of a teenage mother with a feeding trough for a bed, and rags for a blanket. God did this as an expression of love, to show us we are not alone.
We are distracted by many things during this time of year: trying to get the perfect gift; trying to make the perfect meal; not eating all of the sweets available for us; getting along with our loved, and not-so-loved, ones; dealing with loss and loneliness; having old emotional baggage and trauma resurface; tension amongst our families and hundreds of other things. And even it not being the weather we are used to.
But remember the message of the Angels: I bring you good news of great joy for all the people. To you is born a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, goodwill to people!
Blessed Advent, Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from
Pastor Brian and Ananias