You know the feeling, right? Same roads, same distance, but somehow the return trip, minus the anticipation and excitement, isn’t as much fun.
The aftermath is always a bit of a letdown. I see it with the FREEDOM TOUR, all the months of buildup and preparation, the fun of finally getting on the road and then suddenly it’s all done with a giant thud. Unpacking, tearing down, taking apart, cleaning up seems to take forever.
I thought on our endless drive home about the aftermath of the first Christmas. The shepherds left, wise men went home, no more star or caroling angels. Luke says “… Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” She had plenty of time, with 2 am feedings and dirty diapers and all those whispers about whose baby was it, really.
Not all that much glitz and glamour in the aftermath.
A few days ago it was Joy To The World. Now it’s cleaning up the stable and returning the gifts the didn’t fit. It’s packing away the decorations and sitting up nights with a baby, pondering, wondering what it all means.
When Luke says Mary treasured up all these things, I wonder if he’s telling us she found, in the aftermath, a way to hold on to the magic of that night. Perhaps she managed to remember the awe of the shepherds, the worship and gifts of three Magi, the light from a star. Perhaps she recalled a visit from an angel and an unbelievable promise. Maybe the aftermath was different because the baby was different. Maybe Mary found a way to allow the world-changing wonder of that first Christmas to change her and the same-old-same-old of everyday life.
Maybe you and I can do that, too.