Monday, December 21, 2009

Be Still

Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46: 10

A crippling snowstorm arrived this past weekend announcing the arrival of winter with a fury,  right in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. It's almost as if God was saying it was time to be still and focus on the true meaning of the season. As I looked outside wondering how much deeper the snow was going to get, I saw a Tufted Titmouse just sitting on the post. I felt a sense of calmness wash over me as I watched the snow falling. It had been quite some time since I just sat and watched the birds at the feeders. I had become too busy lately to focus on God's beautiful creation.

With Christmas only three days away, I realized I had once again allowed myself to get caught up in the busyness. Each year I think it's going to be different. I'm not going to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. I'm going to take time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, and yet every year it happens. Somewhere between my good intentions and Christmas day, I once again get swept away into the vicious cycle of preparing for Christmas. And it's not just me. It seems as if every woman I know has the same problem. Rather than being a time of true celebration, the Christmas season has become of time of stress and exhaustion. It's also the time when what we should be reflecting on the most seems to be what is thought about the least. I was deeply saddened today when I realized Christmas was so close and I have yet to simply be still and reflect on the true meaning of it. How did celebrating the birth of Jesus become such a stressful and busy time?

It seems many have even grown to dislike Christmas. I've heard several women say they can't wait until it's over. Others say how much they dread this time of the year. How sad that the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior has become a time that's dreaded. How things have changed since the time when that sweet baby was placed in a manger! It seems now that Christmas is about bright lights, decorations, cookie baking, and buying gifts we can't afford. We attend church events that do focus on the true meaning of the season, but often we are too tired to enjoy them.  Instead of reflecting on Jesus, we rush right out the church door and off to the next event. How many of us truly keep Jesus at the center of our celebrations? If we figured up how much time we spent focusing on Him and serving him compared to how much time we spend on worldly traditions that have little spiritual significance, I think we would be surprised. 

I'm thankful for the weekend snowstorm and being snowed in for several days. It has forced me to slow down and look at the beauty around me. The beauty that is all too easily taken for granted. In the midst of preparing for Christmas, we need to take time to be still and know Him. We need to rejoice and celebrate the baby who was laid in a manager wrapped in swaddling clothes. May we never forget the most precious and wonderful gift of all, Jesus Christ!
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