The day after

‘Twas the day after Thanksgiving, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Oops, wrong holiday. However, the same sentiment applies. Yesterday was a quiet, peaceful day capped with a great meal that almost everyone had a hand in making. For example, I made dessert, something I haven’t done for many years. The leg of lamb was cooked on the grill, and was really delicious. We all ate together at the table (a rarity) and had good discussions with one another (even more of a rarity) while enjoying many good things to eat.

As I write this, I was sitting alone in our living room until my wife joined me a few minutes ago. It is a fairly dreary day outside but inside is a bit brighter with the Christmas tree lit. We bought WiFi-connected electrical plugs so that I can now control the Christmas tree lighting from my smartphone. It is a nice feature yet at the same time, I wonder if it’s just the latest pinnacle of American laziness. A remote-controlled, WiFi-enabled bed frame, then a Christmas tree — what is this world coming to?

I know many people who are really struggling during this time, and my thankfulness for a quiet and peaceful holiday is tempered by that knowledge. There are so many people who are alone and lonely right now, missing departed loved ones, struggling with anxiety or dysfunction, or overwhelmed by the chaos and stress of the times we all live in. Or all of the above mixed together. Of course, there is also the travesty of hunger, the shortage of food availability in a country that is among the most prosperous the world has ever known.

My mood hasn’t been improved by reading a few opinion pieces in today’s NYT about the recent election results. Or by the fact that today, known as Black Friday, is traditionally a day where many people participate in an orgy of shopping for Christmas. It is a spectacle that is a shadow of its formal self in these Amazon-dominated times, yet still somehow makes me feel ill.

For some reason, my mind turns to a favorite, well-worn scripture:

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Psalm 119:15 (NIV)

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