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Chaplaincy

Wednesday, Second Week of Advent
December 12, 2007

"For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you."
--Matthew 17:20

What Is Possible


Christmas is a time of hope and possibility. It's an exciting new beginning, like the start of a new school year. The season goes about making magic all by itself, but each year I believe my wishing will make it even more magical. All this expectation and anticipation about Christmas is what makes Advent so wonderful ­ and at times, so stressful.
 
I believed in Santa Claus, of course. I lived in a house with a broad, flattish roof and a wide fireplace, so a visit from the jolly old elf truly seemed possible.
 
Later, I believed in the possibility of finding a horse waiting outside for me on Christmas morning. This necessitated my parents seeing as I did that our garage would be a great place for a horse, not to mention finding the money to buy (and feed) one.
 
Visiting Austria at 20, I hoped to attend a Christmas concert by the Vienna Choir Boys. That possibility didn't happen either. It turned out that the group took a long break in December.
 
For a long time now, I have believed in mundane possibility ­ that I would finish "everything" before Christmas Eve: shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating, cleaning, ironing, painting, polishing, etc. This never happens because I add too much to the list of "everything" I "need" to do.
 
This year, I may have gotten it right. After a decades-long break, I started piano lessons a few months ago. This Christmas, it is possible that I will be able to play (with correct fingering and rhythm!) a few carols so my family can sing together.
 
I think this just might work because it doesn't require elf magic or someone else's money or the right schedule. And it's not on the list of "everything" to do. It's just part of how I'm trying to live this month. With 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there, I work at creating a gift of music for my family (and for me). And maybe I will find that small bits of time and small hopes about what's possible add up to a new kind of Christmas magic.

-- Candy Paris
HEOP Tutor