Posted on Leave a comment

Slow and Easy

Those words never happen, or they never used to be our experience. Everything was “Fast and Difficult” when it came to our schedule and our commitments. The season of Advent doesn’t really mesh well with the way that we used to rush through our days. We would schedule things throughout the week in an attempt to capture the spirit of the season, but we would blow through the quiet and stillness needed to reflect and worship God. At the end of every day, every week, and every Christmas season, I would wonder how well I had used my time to thank God for his gift to us of Christ, his Son. I would grieve that I hadn’t taken the time required to tell my children why this season isn’t really about the presents, the stockings, or the toys that they really want. And then when they would open their gifts, I would feel guilty- because during the whole of December, I had only sporadically pointed them to the best gift of all.

This is a new way to experience Advent. It is harder, because the frivolity and gay, happy feelings that usually characterize the Christmas season have come to a bit of a standstill. But that also means that much of the distraction that we usually deal with is gone. There are other distractions, other temptations to dull our senses, or take our eyes off of Christ. But my prayer for all of us, is that we would use this time well. That we wouldn’t try to fill it with things, but that we would leave it open to wait and linger. That we would appreciate that each day is a celebration of Christmas.

Christmas Time in the Hundred Acre Wood.
Posted on Leave a comment

No one gives…

No one gives….

The right words, that can be a balm to your wounds. That can pick you up off the ground when you feel that you have fallen flat on your face. That can give you hope that lasts. That settles your soul instead of disturbing it.

The right attention, that is selfless. That is focused and worth while. That isn’t superficial and sometimes haphazard.

The right time, that is never ending and fully satisfying. That doesn’t leave you wanting more or less.

The right care, that knows the essence of who you are and what you need. That isn’t a shot in the dark.

The right love, that isn’t self-centered or reactive, but steadfast and faithful. That is sacrificial. That comes from the very heart and that was planned from before the beginning.

Sometimes the things that we think we need are not found where we are looking for them. Sometimes we don’t know that we are looking for them.

Christmas can feel commercialized, materialistic, over-scheduled, and like a let-down. We are seeking for the right words, attention, time, care, and love, but not caring to look to the source of it all. No one can give you those things in a present, or even in their personhood. No one, except Jesus.

Is your heart craving more this season? Are you finding an end in all that you found pleasurable before? Is “staying at home” difficult because any time spent in more solitude leads to reflection and self-loathing, fear and anxiety for you? Let us take our eyes off what we cannot fix and look to the One who did everything to “fix” what we can’t.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon his shoulder,

and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end,

on the throne of David and over his kingdom,

to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness

from this time forth and forevermore.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.”

Isaiah 9:6-7