Thursday, December 20, 2012

Forgotten gift

Busy, busy, busy is what we mumble and grumble at this time of the year.  Ask anyone how they are doing and they'll tell you they are over-extended, over- scheduled and over-worked.  It's as if it would be shameful to admit anything less. 

We are sufficiently busy!

Most of those I talk to are geniunely stressed, tired and near the point of burn out.  In fact, I include myself in that count!  More times than not I find myself complaining about the perpetual demands of the holiday season.

What fuels our busy-ness anyway? 

Could what I perceive to be self-sacrifice really be self-serving, self-indulgence?

If the first words from my mouth are "listen to what I've done, what I've sacrificed, how I suffer" am I kind of showing up at the greatest birthday party of the year, and stealing all the thunder? Seeking gifts of  sympathy, apathy, or praise for myself?

Protesting about now?

Everything I do is for somone else!
I run.
I cook.
I bake.
I shop.
I decorate for days and days.
I'm exhausted!

Hmm.  See the trend?

Give God the glory.

The holiday, or holy days, season. The reason for the season: Jesus, right? 

So often we fail to actually take time out to reflect on the source of this season. Do we honestly take the days of advent to savor the beauty and wonder of the big event?

If you do, I commend you!  Lead the way!  If not, it's time for a serious self-check.

The wonder of this season lies in the quiet moments.  The first snowfall, morning devotions next to a warm fire, cuddling with sleepy eyed pajama clad children enthralled with the wonders of Luke 2, kneeling at the altar with the one's you love on Christmas eve. 

Stop and consider the miracle of a God who loved you so much that he descended from His throne, so that today instead of lives of worries, troubles, and hectic anxiety we could live our lives filled with hope, love, joy, peace and rest.

Mal 3:16: 
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse
...test me,
and I will pour out for you a blessing
until it overflows.

The magi brought Christ gifts upon His arrival.  What gift are you preparing for the Savior this advent?  What are you willing to sacrifice for Him?  An act of kindness or service?  Are you willing to commit yourself to His work?  Is there something in your life that you need to lay at His feet?

"Small resolutions,
over time,
can lead to huge revolutions
affecting not only our lives,
but also the lives of those around us."
-Dr. Tim Gray

Resolutions are usually reserved for the New Year, but why not make a resolution this Christmas season.  Let's look inward and consider what tiny offerings we can bring before Christ this Christmas.

Don't forget to add Christ to your gift list this year.

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