Avoid Life’s Speeding Penalties This Season….or Give It a Go.
As the year winds down, festivities seem to wind up for most of us—work parties, special family get togethers, great food, travel, camping, beach, etc. It is touted to be as the song says, “the most wonderful time of the year.” Peace on earth, joy to the world, colourful lights cheering the dark evenings, goodwill to men, etc. As we enjoy one another and time with family and friends, the Reason for the season can easily be obscured, not just for the general public, but for us who know and love Him. The busy-ness of meal planning and prep, packing the caravan, sorting and wrapping gifts, last minute babysitting for the grandkids, and that onerous trip to the supermarket before it closes for 24 hours (that you promised yourself last year you would never do again) all combine to crowd out the important with the urgent. All our plans and celebrations have deadlines—the grand dinner is at 2 p.m., we have to check in at the caravan park before 4 pm, presents have to be wrapped before we leave, Great Aunt Sophie can’t be picked up from the nursing home before 10 and has to be back by 6, the turkey can’t be stuffed the night before—has to be done early that morning, etc. etc. Everything has a deadline, an urgent timeline to be followed to make everything go smoothly. It is not only easy for these urgent deadlines to crowd out time for the important, it can be hard for them not to. May we each be gifted with an internal sensor alerting us to consciously living in Him, turning to Him, throughout all our urgent preparations—taking time to thank Him for the gift of life and the gift He is in our lives and to the world, though many are still unaware. One of His hallmarks on earth was to notice the downtrodden, the disadvantaged, the lonely and make a difference in their lives—the book of Luke is filed with such stories. As we celebrate this season which honours His birth in our land of plenty, the greater lack in our society is that of being lonely, disconnected, isolated even in a group setting. Over this time of backyard BBQ’s, beach picnics, Christmas dinners, New Year’s neighbourhood drinks, office parties, etc. it is likely there is someone feeing alone and disconnected. As we lean into our friend Jesus, the Reason for the season, may we slow down enough to be alerted to those people and given the word of encouragement they need to hear in this season of hope in a despairing world.
Enjoy a blessed, safe and happy Christmas season as we look forward to 2023!
Photos: Unsplash: JC Ener, J Mupak, Athera Tulsi