I’ll come right out and say it…this is the hardest time of year to write a blog post about slowing down. I’ve already failed miserably at not “shoulding” on myself.
I should send out Christmas cards.
I should bake all those cookies.
I should have my shopping done.
I should have the tree decorated by now. (Oh wait, I don’t even have a tree yet.)
Guilt, self-criticism, failure, Bah Humbug!
Not exactly a good start for preparing my heart to soak in the true meaning of Christmas.
Imagine if God had a list of “shoulds” for that first Christmas.
I should’ve sent my son to a wealthy, firmly established Roman family instead of an unmarried, poor Jewish couple.
I should’ve waited until they got back from Bethlehem so they wouldn’t have to travel while she was pregnant.
I should’ve provided a cushy, comfortable room with qualified medical personnel to assist with the birth of my son.
I should’ve proclaimed the glorious news about the savior of the world to influential people that would immediately get the word out to other influential people…instead of the lowliest of humans – uneducated, unclean shepherds.
Point being…it wasn’t a Norman Rockwell perfect Christmas. But through the ages, painters, sculptors, retailers, and even churches have tried to glamorize a very messy, scary, confusing event that changed the history of the world. The Light of the World arrived on earth and for those who recognized Him, they would never be the same.
God had no shoulds. His timing and execution were perfect. And once again I’m reminded that He is God, and I am not. Perfection is His alone.
This year I’m not aiming for the perfect Christmas – that was already done 2000 years ago. This year I’m looking for ways to:
Wander through a pine forest knee deep in snow instead of neck deep in chores.
Linger over a few precious words about the first Christmas instead of trying to come up with the perfect Christmas sentiment in my own cards.
Savor a cup of coffee with a friend in need instead of shopping for things nobody needs.
My tree is up and lit but I don’t know if I’ll get around to actually putting ornaments on this year. And that’s ok. Because all those details pale and seem unimportant when the lights go on.
May the Light of the World illuminate your days with Love, your nights with Peace and your life with Hope.