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Time, Scholarship“Gravity” would be a great name for a girl, like “Charity” or “Felicity.” And you know, Gravity used to be my friend. We could hang, she and I. But lately, she has not been kind to me. Just like Time used to be on my side. Now, he just keeps rushing past, like he doesn’t even recognize me!

To tell you the truth, my old pal Gravity has just been bringing me down. As you get older, you realize that “the tincture of time” only applies to broken hearts. Not faces, hands, and…other assets. 

But Gravity’s just doing her job, and Time is on the clock, too.⏰ They all work for Providence. Nobody can play a role for which they’re not designed. The same is true of humans; we were made to live the full spectrum of experiences, including aging. 

At least it rolls out slowly, like a grey carpet of sorts. At first, you think, “Grey? Where’s the red carpet treatment?” On second thought, you realize that grey is a great choice for a carpet. Hides the dirt. Goes with every kind of decor. It’s soothing.

So, eventually, you’re going to look older as you age. I know that’s no great newsflash, but until you experience it, you may not realize it can affect how you feel about life. 

But you’re still the same person you always were. Gravity and Time may be contractually obligated to do their jobs (as an older person, I’ve realized they must be Teamsters), but Providence is ageless, and there’s no expiration date on Grace.

I am an earthenware jug
filled to the brim with simple water —
Adam’s ale, most humble mead.
And yet I cry:
Make me wine,
make me wine,
make me wine.

I wrote this poem fragment one afternoon, realizing it at once as a declaration of one of my deepest sins: I don’t think that I am good enough for God. I want to be special; I want to be a saint. I want to be extraordinary.

But what’s so wrong with ordinary? After all, I am as God made me. Why ask for wine when water is enough? And then it came to me: What if you knew that all you had to do is to be your best self, in all your day-to-day plainness, and you would be doing exactly what God wanted of you? What if being ordinary and happy is enough?

Sometimes I feel like Pinocchio; that somehow, if I do something wonderful, something important, I’ll achieve “real boy” status. But maybe this is as real as it gets. Instead of keeping my eye on some nebulous, unachievable future, why don’t I just look around at where I am right now, and focus on making it as good as I can make it? Wouldn’t that be a better use of my time?

It comes down to this: Some people, a select few, are extraordinary. And they earn that status in contrast with the rest of us, the vast ordinary majority. And that’s just fine. We are all doing God’s work by being who we are. Shouldn’t that be enough for us?

I’m not going to pray to be converted into wine anymore. I’m done with whining, too. I got the message, and I’m passing it on: You are enough. You are perfectly perfect. God made you so. Don’t waste your time fruitlessly wishing to be what you’re not. Just be a perfectly perfect you. God is absolutely crazy about that person. And so am I.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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