Thursday, December 06, 2007

Getting ready for Christmas

With a baby, it takes longer to do everything. What once took one day or a few hours stretched into a three day process. Good thing we started in November (wink wink). Isn't true that we are prone to spend lots of time "decorating," trimming the tree, shopping, and hanging lights so much that we feel tired, drained, and empty! We spend ourselves prioritizing the outside while neglecting the inside. The real truth of Christmas IS LIGHT and sometimes we miss it. We spend time putting on and putting up the lights all around our house and fail to experience the light in our life and heart. That's at least what I feel sometimes at Christmas and periodically in life.

One of the best illustrations of this is Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation--one of my all time favorite Christmas movies. It is a classic. Clark buys thousands of lights to string up on his house practically breaking his back with no success.`Meanwhile he is going crazy and his family is falling apart inside the house! Sound familiar? The analogy plays out practically in how we spend our time and in the condition of our heart!

Sigh. Just today, I was driving to class, running late, tired after a long night of paper writing, feeling bad that I didn't have good quality time with my wife and daughter this morning and I dropped my peanut butter and jelly bagel sandwich in the car (Another bad sign that I am running an unhealthy pace is when I am eating a meal in the car). It seemed to bounce like a pinball on three different places in the car before landing on my final project and then my bag. It was just to be expected. "Ridiculously typical," I thought. This all just happen in 10 minutes from leaving my house to get to Seminary. I prayed and then I cried. Oh, God, please help me! I'm just over this. Over feeling rushed and worrying about my performance. See, I am caught between the tension of doing good work in my seminary class and arriving on time--well prepared--with taking car of myself, being filled with God's love and having quality time with my family and maintaining the ministry entrusted to me.

Somehow I pulled it together, I remembered that life is more than our "present sufferings" (as if these are REAL "sufferings" comparatively) and I am made for eternity. So I must have this perspective. In class, one woman presented her project using a song titled, "I'll carry you." With lyrics like: "When you can't go another mile..." It was touched. I was at peace for the moment.

Romans 8:17-19

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

I am a child of God. I will live like one and believe the truth. (I need this as I still have one more 10 pager to write and some reading journals to complete).

Philippans 4: 4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

I pray we rest in God. Take deep breaths, stop the running around, the search for significance is found in nothing and no one but God and his love for us!

Peace on Earth and all people, whom his favor rests!

This is Merry Christmas!

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