Christmas Eve is one of the most magical nights in Western culture, a night that celebrates peace and light and new hope being born into the world. A star lights the way for magis to come and worship new life, to offer gifts and honors. Angels sing to celebrate the moment.
It is holy and luminous, this night, meant to remind us of the possibilities of our lives. It’s also a metaphorical jewel box, brimming with images we can use to inspire ourselves, to remember who we are, each of us, at the core of our being.
We tend to think we are small, the donkey looking on, or the sheep chewing hay in the manger. What if, in fact, we are each born to be a star that lights the night, lights the way for others? What if each of us has a corner of the world to illuminate–
perhaps the neighborhood in which you were born, or a battlefield that haunts you, or the magical worlds of some faraway, unknown land? What if your essay, that singular particular manifestation of your observations, your need to speak, is the kernel of truth that changes a person forever, even in the tiniest ways? This is how the world is saved, by each of us taking on the mantle of our vocation and giving it the very best we can give it.
You are a writer, or perhaps a creator of another sort. You have been born with this pressing desire to make things, express yourself, offer observations on the world, make things up—however it shows up in your life is the way it is meant to show up. We do it imperfectly at times, and often we fail at the vision we hoped to transfer to the page, to the hearts of readers, but the pursuit is the thing. In pursuit, sometimes also called practice, as in the practice of prayer or the practice of yoga or the practice of piano, we serve the work, and in doing so, serve that unnamable something that is holy, opposed to evil, that thing that brings light, stars, singing angels into the world.
This Christmas Eve, give yourself the gift of loving the desire to write, the desire to be better. Celebrate your own holy star-ness, and shine, shine, shine.