This year, I'm understanding better than ever before the transitional nature of that first Christmas as we get ready to move. In fact, we've packed up almost everything EXCEPT Christmas and some essentials (like our computers…which will get packed, along with everything else, on the 26th).
Like Mary and Joseph, we are on the move.
Unlike them, we have arranged for help. The movers are packing up whatever we have left (besides what we'll take with us) on the 26th and 27th. Then we have a weekend without TV, which will probably be a welcome respite as we take time to reflect on the coming year. On the 30th, the movers load up all our furniture, boxes, etc. And on the last day of 2013, we head off for our new family adventure in St. George, Utah.
Unlike Mary and Joseph, there'll be room for us in the "inn" in Burley, ID because we made reservations for us and our two cats in advance. Still, traveling in two vehicles with two cats will not be easy. Nothing like riding the back of a donkey, but probably a lot noisier.
And unlike Mary and Joseph, we don't have to flee into Egypt (no, Idaho does not count as Egypt) before settling our family in a new home.
Seriously, though, I can well imagine Mary's thoughts about the transitions and responsibilities that lay ahead for both her and Joseph as she pondered over the glorious signs and occurrences that accompanied the birth of this tiny infant, so seemingly helpless…and yet, God's Son.
I, too, am pondering what lies ahead for my family, particularly my children. I'm not so sure that infancy or adolescence presents the most challenging stage of life for our youth. I may be past fifty now, but I can still recall the loneliness, insecurity, and isolation of being a young single adult in the Church.
I pray this transition will bring joy in the new year. I believe the fact that we are making this change at Christmas time, a season of joy, is a sign of better things to come. A promise for the future not unlike the promise of the Christ child.