Embracing Mystery in the Holiday Season

At this time of year, people all over the world celebrate. For me, as I celebrate my religious traditions, Christmas involves embracing the unknown and unimaginable: the mystery we encounter in our lives.

Good Mystery and Bad Mystery

Whether you are celebrating religious traditions or simply using this time of year to banish the winter darkness with gift giving and the gathering of family and friends, consider how our life is suffused with mystery, unknowns, and realities that are beyond our control. Some unknowns are wonderful: delicious surprises, like that carefully chosen gift from a loved one. But many unknowns are unwelcome: challenges, like sudden tragedy, illness, death, job loss, financial setbacks, disappointments, betrayals. How do we move through the fear of these unwelcome mysteries?

The Christian Mystery

The fact of Jesus’s birth helps me face that fear. The creator of the universe taking on human flesh? Being born in poverty? His story is unimaginable to me. As such, it gives me perspective on not knowing and hope that even as I travel my journey throughout life, I do not know or have to know how the story will end. Christ came to provide direction with a promised destination. His birth reminds me to approach mystery with humility (I don’t have all the answers) and faith (there’s ultimately good under all of these unknowns).

Embrace your Mystery

There are many belief systems that provide purpose in life and help us to find faith and hope, even when the mysteries of life are scary. May this Christmas,  Hanukkah, Yule or however you define your gathering of loved ones this season be a reminder that we all walk through a mysterious life, not having full knowledge or control.

May each of us greet our mystery with a desire to learn, grow, love, and make this world a better place regardless of what has appeared on our path. I may not know what is around the corner of my life, but I can walk there consciously with a heart brimming with love and peace.

{featured image credit: Roman Boed on Flickr}

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