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advent demolition

December 18, 2010

I haven’t yet, but at some point during the Advent/Christmas season I will pull out the old Christmas movie staple, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  I realize this is not the most well-told version of this story (Read Creative Minority Report‘s Matthew Archibald’s qualms with this adaptation here. I’m inclined to agree.), but the movie has its moments.  One of my favorites being when Hermie, the elf dentist, tells Rudolph that he is independent.  Rudolph decides he is going to be in-de-pen-dent, too.  “Hey, why don’t we both be independent together?!” Hermie suggests.  Independent together!  That line always makes me giggle.

This amusing exchange has been on my mind a lot recently because a few weeks before Advent, God started demolition on my walls of independence.  I tried to boycott the demolition by reminding God that, like Hermie and Rudolph, I’m in-de-pen-dent, and if I couldn’t be in-de-pen-dent, that would mean (gulp) I’d have to rely on others.  It’s not that I’m opposed to accepting help, I’m just not used to it.  I’ve always had to figure things out for myself so I became extremely self-reliant.  Being dependent scares the life out of me.  My pride started to panic so I pretty much threw myself in front of the wrecking ball, pleading and begging God to spare my independent infrastructure.

Ok, so it wasn’t really that dramatic.  God didn’t use a wrecking ball.  He used simple lessons to slowly remove one brick at a time.  Some of the lessons were rather painful and discouraging, but most weren’t that bad and a few actually turned out to be quite pleasant.  “You see, it’s not about choosing one extreme over the other,” my spiritual director reminded me at our last meeting.  “It is not good to rely solely on yourself, Cecilia, and neither is it good to be totally dependent on another.  It is about finding a balance between the two and becoming interdependent with another.”

I was finally getting used to the idea of interdependence and learning to be ‘independent together’ when God decided to remind me what total independence was like.  It was a very long and difficult week.  I used to thrive on being autonomous, and I was surprised to find that I was completely over it after a few days of utter loneliness.  I no longer protested the demolition of my in-de-pen-dence.  “I give up.  You were right.” I told God with a sigh.  “Demolish away.  Just don’t actually use a wrecking ball.  I know brick-by-brick will take a little longer, but little life lessons from mythical elves and talking reindeer are much more tolerable than any wrecking ball.”

Hmmm… I think it’s time to pop in that movie for more life lessons from Rudolph and Hermie…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 19, 2010 1:32 am

    I absolutly loved this post! I love them all but this one was particularly beautiful and helpful for a current struggle! It reminds me of an ol’ adage: “My independence is dependent on the other.” Gracias Cecilia for your frequent testimonies!

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