Saturday, December 14, 2013

Beyond Disappointment

Saturday of the Second Week of Advent

Weeping may spend the night,
   but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:6

The final performance of my daughter’s high school play was snowed out last week. With grace and considerable effort, the fine arts faculty found a way to reschedule the final show—only for it to be cancelled again by threat of an incoming winter storm.

We are dealing with the disappointment better the second time around. Nevertheless, my daughter comments, “It had better be a monster storm or I am not going to be satisfied.” She doesn’t want the cancellation to be in vain.

As I listen to her, I find I have to guard myself: not from my own disappointment, but from a temptation to shelter my daughter from hers. As a parent I have had to sit on my hands at times to prevent myself from stepping in and solving my daughters’ problems for them. Sometimes it is hard to watch them struggle.

But to prevent the struggle, to guard them from disappointment, is to deny them something more vital: the capacity to overcome difficulty and the learned awareness that despair is not the end of the story.

Disappointment, failure, and grief are all landscapes that we traverse at times. Even on a journey toward hope. Even on the way to the manger. But in the manger itself—joy that knows no bounds.

Image credit: eve81 / 123RF Stock Photo 

Copyright Anne E. Kitch 2013