?There?s nothing you can do that can?t be done. Nothing you can sing that can?t be sung?. There?s nothing you can know that isn?t known. Nothing you can see that isn?t shown. Nowhere you can be that isn?t where you?re meant to be?. All you need is love?love is all you need.? ?The Beatles
Holidays are spaced out deliberately, I believe, to pull us back together when we might be falling apart. They are perfectly timed.
Maybe it was a hot summer, too long, or was it too short? Then fall showed up with its clouds, cold air and ice. There?s also less daylight; a possible perfect storm for melancholy or depression. And these are just the blanket issues?the ones people might collectively share as the season changes. Add in individual worries and it?s enough to us all into knots.
When things get rough, after we?ve been steadily climbing toward our breaking point, we may find ourselves getting a little too cozy with negativity or resentment. This strategy works great for awhile. Most times, ironic as it is, there is some kind of benefit that comes from holding onto those things.
Until it doesn?t. Until it keeps you up at night and wakes you up in the morning.
A friend of mine who lost two family members in a short amount of time said she didn?t understand why some of them had held onto old resentments year after year. She got fed up. Grief will do that. So she took it upon herself to point out and then corral the elephant in the room that no one had been willing to acknowledge for years.
So, I wonder, why do we do this? Why is it so much easier to stay angry or low? Is it a control thing? A revenge thing? An ego thing?
Or is it just a human thing? How we?re built? We like things to go a certain way?our way. Life?s learning curve follows its own path and sometimes, well, it just bites.
Yet in the middle of the fall to winter change, as temperatures drop and freezes settle in, here comes Thanksgiving with its turkey and pumpkin and whisper of, ?Aren?t you forgetting something? Or ?some things? you?re supposed to be thankful for? Hmmmm??
And if we remember, suddenly it becomes (almost) impossible to be thankful and resentful at the same time.
1 Corinthians 13 ends with, ?And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.?
Maybe we?re built to doubt too because I?ve had my own doubts about how this phrase ends. I was convinced that the wording should be, ?And now these three remain: love, hope and faith. But the greatest of these is faith.?
To me, faith seemed to be the most powerful. The most promising. The one that can keep things going until the other two are figured out.
I think I?ve come around. We all need all three. Because when it?s on the line, it seems to be love that will bring us back around to our faith. And love that keeps us clinging onto the last string of hope.
And wouldn?t you know it, another holiday is right around the corner?perfectly timed.
Shelley Plett is a graphic designer for the Free Press and Kansas Publishing Ventures. She can be reached at shelley@hillsborofree?press.com. This column is revised slightly from the original version that ran in November 2009.