As I have written before, I am teaching a class this month on surviving the Holidays. I am acutely aware that my own family may read these! My family is loving and generous – but we have issues too. Want to see the genogram? 8)
I began the class on Sunday with the catechism question, “What is the Chief End of Man?” Answer: The Chief End of Man is to Glorify God and Enjoy Him forever. We begin here because it is a good beginning for framing any difficult topic. Why even bother with family? Why not work up some good boundaries and then just travel over the Holidays? My younger brother went to Costa Rica for Thanksgiving and I was jealous. Have you seen 4 Christmases?
Anyway, Friday morning I woke up wondering the point of anything and everything. I wasn’t depressed, but it certainly delayed my getting out of bed for a good 20 minutes. I had a moment, ‘why get up’, and what that potential answer has to do with two children, my inlaws (we were with them), my wife, and my own heart. I thought of the catechism. It mattered. Why get up? The chief end of man is to glorify god and enjoy Him forever. It helped.
This has happened before, but never so simply and poignantly as Friday morning. The interaction of my brain and heart with this answer helped me walk downstairs with a slight measure of joy and purpose. It has also not happened before 🙂 I have known this answer for 10-15 years, and I am certain it has crossed my mind and I have not gotten out of bed. As I re-read that sentence about joy and purpose it sounds trite…. But, that is what happened. I wasn’t smiling (joy is different than happiness), or skipping – but, I am thankful that I had an answer.
Throughout the week I will share other things we worked through in the class: Jesus’ family being confused by Him and His Mission (Mark 3), Jesus commands about Family (Matthew 10), the 5th Commandment, etc. But, we began there because it is a substantive and Gospel-Driven answer to a big question. And, it helped me get out of bed.