The Mice in the Kitchen and the Elephant in the Living Room
rather draw fanciful mice than tackle a big project.
I've written about this before - about How I Get Things Done. I
use the old Robert Benchley method, from his essay by that title.
Faced with a task I must, must, must complete - I can
accomplish almost anything else. It's a key to accomplishment. It
has provided this post with illustrations.
Case in point: Christmas cards. There's not much Christmas spirit
in sending them in January, and I'm not in the mood in
November. So here I am on December 10th, just starting to
put them together. I'll get them done, because I love making
Christmas cards, but there is a hard deadline which moves the task
into the "imperative" column.
So I catch myself doing all sorts of other things - like drawing
the mice in this newsletter. They've served as an escape hatch
from doing one massive Christmas push.
Because Christmas is the Elephant in the Living Room. The holiday
traditions can be a steamroller, flattening several months of the
calendar year and some of us adherents along with it. It even
flattens the Christmas record, clamping halos on the characters
and draining them of the very real and gritty emotions they surely
must have felt. Put through the mill of our various traditions,
they emerge as Christmas cards or flannelgraphs - flattened.
Jesus was probably born in September. And nowhere does Scripture
enjoin us to make a holiday of His birth - His resurrection is a
more compelling reason for celebration. The fact, however, is that
we'll never get to the resurrection without the birth, and I'm
fine with whatever celebration anyone wants to make of it. (I did
a talk about it at our church - if you have half an hour you can
watch it here.)
Christmas cards are part of my celebration - and this year's
aren't even entirely flat. Want to receive one? If you're
not already a subscriber to my newsletter, sign up here,
AND send me your physical address. Many people receiving this are
already on my list (in the "Nice" column, of course), and you'll
be getting yours as soon as I stop drawing these mice.