It’s two weeks to Christmas people!
Does that statement make your worry level rise or your heart flutter with joy?
Does it make your head spin and your tension explode like the top of a pressure cooker?
Or does it make you smile and breathe deep the happy scent of the season.
Your reaction is in direct correlation with your focus.
Anxiety happens when Christmas becomes about Santa and his sleigh full of stuff, rather than the Holy event that changed the world forever.
Stress happens when peace on earth good will to men becomes—buy more stuff you absolutely don’t need, and run over men, women and children to get it?
If our focus lasers on presents to buy, parties to go to, and events to host, then how can our anxiety level not skyrocket like an out of control missle?
I may or may not get caught up in the competition to give the best gift…And I have to ask myself true, is this about seeing the joy in the face of the recipient, or the accolades of “What a cool gift?” Busted…
But my fervor pales in contrast to this hot mess of an incident.
She braved the Black Friday crowds to uncover coveted bargains. Scoring the last three boxes on the shelf, she couldn’t carry them all, so she gave one to her small son. Out of nowhere, a nicely dressed woman in fancy suede boots, swooped in yanked the box out of the kids’ hands. The enraged mom chased her down the isle and a tussle became a full-blown brawl. It was all over the internet of course.
Some cried fake! Fake or not, the video epitomized how people lose their minds in the heat of the moment, when the sharpened claws of greed, and want, squeeze our hearts. We know the truth about materialism, but forget in our pell-mell rush.
Because we all know that stuff can bring momentary happiness,
But Jesus will give us a heart of joy forever.
Stuff can never fill the void,
But Jesus is our everything.
Stuff will mold, and rust, and break,
But Jesus and his promises are ours forever.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
Our Savior left his throne of glory at the right hand of God, to walk lowly among us. He stubbed his toes and skinned his knees. He felt exhaustion and his stomach growled with hunger.
We broke his heart again and again,
And he wept tears of great sorrow.
Yet he never gave up on us,
And bestowed the greatest gift of all,
His death poured out so we could live forever with him.
So in this beautiful, hectic season remember to focus on these five things:
1. Savor the days-Don’t rush for the kids to be out of school, and the parties to be over, and the day to arrive. Let them simmer slow and unfold like the petals on a rose.
2. Enjoy the moments—Find the thankful in each day.
3. Remove the trappings of this world—If elaborate preparations are stealing your joy, then simplify. Your friends and family will still love you if you offer a simple soup and cornbread rather than a fancy meal that keeps you too busy to enjoy.
4. Invite Christ in—Don’t leave him standing at the door, a gaily decorated Christmas wreath hanging between you. He is the reason for the season.
5. Breath deep—Let the love of God fill you with peace and allow you to live life abundantly this holiday season.
The dazzling light of joy shines so much brighter when we place our focus on what truly matters.
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11