When I was younger, I remember my Grandma Thelma, getting excited over my achievements or
adventures. She would always say, “Oh Cathy, I’m just so thrilled.”
It stood out to me, even then, as a lover of words. What made her choose the word “thrill” over other
words, like “excited,” “stoked,” “jazzed?”
Thrill, to me, was often associated with danger and bad choices.
My grandma, I’m sure had her fair share of thrills, married to my grandpa Bill, drag racing down Ten Mile
Road, but I knew this wasn’t what she meant.
Being thrilled was to have a classy (my grandma is nothing, if not classy) excitement over something. So
exciting in fact that it might even cause a tremor of fear.
“A thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices.” Has always been one of my favorite lines of one of my favorite
Christmas carols, although, not until recently did I truly hear and understand the line. Sometimes, the
world does seem all too weary. Too much hardship, too much hunger, too many bills, too many
catastrophes, too many acts of violence, too much politics, too much pain, too much hurt, too much
sadness, too much death, too many commitments, too much suffering, too much despair.
I had a job interview last week for a job I lazily applied for as I was scrolling through the job boards. I was
really hesitant about the job itself and the company in general. I was really doubtful and was surprised
when I made it through the recruiter screening and was scheduled for an in-person interview.
I got there a few minutes early and said a prayer, as I almost always do, before an interview. “Let it go well
and let your will be done.” I want to do a great job, leave it all on the table and present my best self.
I will let God control the outcome and I will accept it – I just don’t want to look like an idiot.
In I went, and who greeted me at the door? A Great Dane named Bella. She was happy and friendly.
The place was modest but there was a tangible, positive energy. I had been saying for years that I really
wanted to work at a place with a dog. (Was this, a sign unto me?)
I left, kind of dazed. The interview went well, really well, so well in fact, they checked references before I
even got home that night. They wanted to make an offer in 24 hours.
When I left that interview, my heart was racing, I was excited, no, I was more than just excited. My
Christmas song suddenly had meaning, depth, it was like I had heard it…like really heard it for the first
time. I had a feeling down to my core. I understood what it meant to feel a thrill of hope. A job I wasn’t
sure I even wanted seemed to be the exact right fit. I was more than excited. I was absolutely thrilled – so
thrilled in fact it scared me a little. It was this incredible feeling deep down to my bones of something
better, something exciting, something good is on the horizon.
And the shepherds that night?
A thrill of hope.
Excited but terrified? That sounds about right.
But it’s now been 94.5 hours (but who’s counting?). So, I’m thinking it’s a no for this job. But there is a tiny
sliver, a tiny ray, perhaps from a bright shining Bethlehem star, of hope. But this isn’t really about a job. It’s
a lesson intertwined into the everyday moments.
In the waiting, I’m hopeful.
The parallels are not lost on me. As we are immersed in the Advent season, the season of waiting,
anticipating the good, the better, the exciting, it’s only fitting that we are asked to wait.
So, weary world, we will wait and we know the promise of a future that is good and better and thrilling,
is one worth waiting for. The shepherd’s will tell you that. The thrill of hope is coming, and it’s worth the