When Does Your "Power Go Out"?
For the fourth time in three weeks (including another time this morning before the sun came up), the power is out at my home. The computer voiced excuse-maker on the 800 number said that "a tree" had caused the problem, and that the estimated time that power would be restored is 4:30 this afternoon. And that got me to thinking . . .
How many times in our lives does the "power go out"? When we feel completely powerless over a situation. When whatever it is that we have relied on so much and for so long just stops, with no notice, no warning - suddenly it's just gone. And what do we do? Well, sometimes, the answer is we just sit in the dark. We may get angry; we may feel hopeless. But we abdicate the power to restore the power to a power outside us, instead of claiming that power which is rightfully ours.
In all the literal power outages recently, I have been developing coping mechanisms that can get me into my day without too much consternation. My hot water heater keeps the water hot long enough for me to get a shower, so I’m good there. I have a gas stove, so if I need to eat, I just have to use a lighter to get the burner lit, and choose a stovetop type of meal. I can boil water for some tea, rather than making coffee with my coffee maker. I can light candles or use the flashlight app on my cell phone to illuminate the darker portions of the house (like the mancave) long enough to grab what I need and get to where there are windows (at least during daylight; at night, it’s a great excuse to go to the movies). I adapt, and I go right on living my life.
What has come to me this morning is that there are times in our lives when we feel a loss of power that has nothing to do with the electricity running into our homes. We may have lost our job, and feel a loss of economic power. We may have lost a relationship, and feel the loss of passion, connection, belonging, and even identity that goes with it. We may have developed a physical, mental, or emotional disorder that has robbed us of the power to be our old familiar self. And we may have become disconnected from God, and feel most painfully the loss of spiritual power that connection with Spirit brings.
This Christmas, we focus not merely on the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, but on the birth of our awareness of our own Christ nature - the birth of Christ in our own consciousness as a living, powerful, everyday reality. This awareness of our divine nature and of the ramifications of all it means in our lives provides a power source that never blacks out, never gets disconnected, and never gets turned off for an unpaid bill. The power of God is a here and now reality in our lives, if we stay in that awareness, and hold fast to the faith and peace, the love and joy that Christmas brings. At the end of “A Christmas Carol”, it is said that Ebenezer Scrooge learned to keep Christmas all year ‘round, and that is exactly the sort of Power that can not be lost, no matter what the outer circumstances are.
Ah, the power is back, at least for the moment. But then, in Truth, I never really lost it to begin with.
May the Power of Christmas be with you today and always,