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The Christ is born! Stress out about it!

December 23, 2009

I work, part-time, in a church office. Part-time becomes full-time in a church office pretty quickly, but especially in December.

We’ve all heard or read or written reminders about “the reason for the season.” We all know it’s not worth maxing credit cards or trying to do so much that we get to the point where we can’t wait for Christmas to be over. You know it. I know it, but it found a way to get to me still.

Second on the Program for Christmas Eve is yours truly. I’m slated to do a spoken word piece, and I really am psyched about it. I dig spoken word. I’ve always wanted to do it, and am excited that I get an opportunity twice in one year.

I’ve never been assigned a topic before, though. It’s a good one, and should make for a great piece, but my previous limited experience with spoken word – including things I’ve written and never performed – have been born out of a deep inspiration or a line coming together in my head. I’ve never even deliberately written on a topic of my own.

I’ve been working on it lightly for weeks, but sat down to really work on it yesterday. And sat. And sat. And almost an hour later hadn’t written a blessed word that I hadn’t also violently scratched out. Worse still, I was pretty sure than everything I already had written was awful and should never be uttered. I was completely drained, discouraged, and rather unhappy.

So I did what I often do when I’m unhappy. I prayed busied myself. I did laundry and vacuumed and checked that I had everything I needed to make cookies before I finally gave in to the still, small voice telling me to shut up and pray.

I sat. I begged Holy Spirit for His tangible presence, and He obliged. And as I sat He pulled my lens up to His point of view. It’s not about my success as a poet. It’s not about whether or not I single-handedly destroy a fabulous Christmas Eve program with mediocre art. It’s not about a great Christmas Eve program. It’s about how I love Him, and a distracted (prideful) Christian artist is just as offensive to the mystery and miracle of the incarnation as a distracted consumer.

“And most of the people who will be there don’t know what spoken word is anyway. You couldn’t disappoint them if you tried.”

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