I’m always grateful when the end of the day arrives, and I can slip off my shoes and tuck my feet into my favorite pair of slippers. They’re so warm and comfy, and they fit just right.
True, they’re a little bit tattered. Taggart couldn’t resist chewing the leather laces when he was a puppy, and even now, at 2, he still sometimes gives in to temptation and chomps on what’s left of them. And I routinely have to go looking for one of the slippers because Dillon, the golden retriever, has raided my bedroom and carried one off. They’re HIS favorite shoes, too.
I could never have predicted this. I remember well the day the shoes arrived. I had ordered them online to replace another pair of well-loved slippers that had finally been retired because they’d grown so unsightly. I couldn’t find any that were just exactly like my old pair, but these seemed like they’d be pretty close.
What a disappointment the first time I put them on. They were so … tight. They felt so unfriendly, so uncomfortable. Not at all like slippers ought to feel. But I decided to wear them awhile, in hopes they’d stretch.
They stretched. In all the right places. Now they feel like I’ve had them forever and they bring me such comfort and security.
New things are like that, you know. Often, you’ve got to try them out, give them a little bit of time to conform to your expectations.
It’s the same way with church. We’ve put a lot of new things on our calendar lately – things that at first might seem unfamiliar and ill-fitting. For example, I don’t recall hearing of St. James ever adopting multiple local families for the holidays, shopping for enough presents to fill Santa’s sleigh and planning a massive St. Nicholas party. The threat of that whole project turning into a huge, disappointing mess was ever-present. But it didn’t. Instead, it became one of the most satisfying things we’ve done since I’ve been here.
There are more new things still to come in the next couple of weeks. When is the last time we had a Christmas Eve service that began at 10 p.m.? When have we ever celebrated the Feast of the Holy Name on Jan. 1? When have we ever planned a New Year’s Day parish brunch? When is the last time we had an evening Service of Light to celebrate Epiphany? When have we ever had a Twelfth Night Party?
These are all new things, right out of the box, and they may strike some of you as ill-fitting. But I hope you’ll give them a try anyway. Come on out and take a chance. You may find they’ll grow on you, and bring you comfort and security, just like an old pair of slippers.