Thursday, December 06, 2007

Holy Days

When God became a man, He took a HUGE step down from where He was. He chose that humiliation because of His great love for us and because it was the only way to give us eternal life and bring us out of the darkness in which we were born. A darkness which was our total lack of relationship with Him, and our total helplessness to do anything about. It was the biggest problem any of us would ever face, and one God solved without any work on our part.

How ironic, then, that at this time of year, during the holidays that are devoted to recalling this great sacrifice on His part, this work of His on our behalf, is when we get most frantic about doing things. We go into overdrive -- gotta get this done, gotta get that done, gotta go here, do this, send that... In fact, on top of all our regular activities we add more -- holiday preparations, parties, activities, shopping, decorating, etc. At least, that's what I realized I had done today, even as I wondered why I didn't seem to have enough time for it all!

A holiday, though, is a Holy Day. A day set apart from the others as special -- to relax, to remember or to consider and honor something or someone. If anything we should stop doing at least some of our regular things so we can concentrate not just on preparing for the "holiday," but also on the reason. And of course, the reason for the Christmas season is the Lord. More than any other, this holiday should not be spent out of fellowship with Him as we enslave ourselves to the details of life.

Yet this special "set apart" time seems anything but set apart. We leap into frantic mode, buzzing from one task or activity to the next with hardly a breath between before falling into bed at night. Oh, and let's not leave out the tension, stress and frenzy of lashing ourselves as we try to get all this stuff done and inevitably fail.

This is not God's plan for us. Yet, it's become a confusing time. Routine is altered and compressed. Things don't happen according to plan. The weather intervenes. Needed items break at the most inopportune time. Worst of all, priorities get muddled. What is it that is really the most important thing to get done today?

I decided today that I didn't want my season to be one of frenzy, but of peace, quietness, and focus on the Lord. There's always time to do the Will of God, I just needed to know what that was. So midmorning, when nothing was going as I had planned -- starting with when I overslept by an hour -- I switched over to "step by step consultation mode." I recalled my basic priorities (Bible class, morning routine, exercise, sleep) and purposed to take things one day at a time, to make it a habit to go to the Lord when I got confused and ask Him what I should do next.

As a result, I got quite a bit done today, some of it what I'd planned, some not. But I maintained the peace and quietness of staying in fellowship, and that's really the only thing that matters.

Grace and peace,