I know a lot of Christmas carols. I know a few New Year’s songs. But I only know one song about the quiet, possibly anticlimactic week between Christmas Day and New Year’s.* That song is “The Space Between” from Sandra McCracken’s Christmas album, written by Cindy Morgan, Gabe Dixon, and Sandra McCracken. I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to it in the last few days:

We often think of New Year’s as a time to take the bull by the horns, to take control of that which has been out of control and make preparations for new ways of living. “The Space Between” explores the truth that waiting can be preparation too:

December ends
Make way for dreams
Wait for the light
To raise the spring
Embrace it all
From hope to doubt
Like ocean waves
Washing in and out

Last week I recorded a conversation with Jen Pollock Michel, to be released next week as the New Year’s episode of The Habit Podcast. We talked about the difference between productivity, a mechanistic concept borrowed from industry, and fruitfulness, a human concept borrowed from nature. A big difference, Jen said, is the fact that fruitfulness accounts for seasons. A tree is productive, but that productivity requires seasons of preparation that look unproductive. In the winter, there’s a lot more going on with a tree than meets the eye. 

With that in mind, here’s another verse from “The Space Between.”

We bless the seeds
Under the snow
We bless the patience, take it slow
We bless the limits,
Bless the tears
We bless the failures
That brought us here.

Luci Shaw wrote, “Planting seeds inevitably changes my feelings about rain.” It changes my feelings about winter too. 

The weather has been pretty brutal for most of us in North America these last few days. But we’re almost a week past the winter solstice. It’s hard to recognize, but today there’s a little more light than there was yesterday, and tomorrow there will be a little more light than today.

Here’s to a fruitful 2023. There’s always more going on than you know.

* I realize that in the traditional church calendar, this week is Christmas, and today is the third day of Christmas. Even so, for most of us this is a quiet, possibly anticlimactic week.

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