I have a serious case of “stillness illness.” It is my habit to live life in a constant state of business. Work must be done. Children must be chauffeured. Friends and family need our attention. Seriously. I live a life that is a whirlwind of activity.
December is no exception. I spend my time rushing around, stressing and wearing myself out. There are lights and decorations to put up, parties, activities and concerts to attend, shopping to get done, gifts to be giving, cards and seasons greeting to be written and mailed… Yikes! There is so much joy and cheer and… stress. I find that my Christmas joy is often covered with a blanket of business and stress. It is easy to loose joy. I find myself using much of my time rushing around, not thinking what I ought to be, not what matters most. There is no room for Jesus in my heart when I rush around, pushing to get more done and trying to make people happy. Just like the Innkeeper whose Inn was too full for the baby Jesus my schedule often may not leave time to appreciate and enjoy Jesus – the reason for the season.
It is time to re-evaluate.
“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalms 46:10
Here is a crazy thought… What if I attempted to slow down? What if I “stopped and enjoyed the Christmas lights?” What if it were possible experience Christmas differently, in peace and joy, and come away richer because of it?
“Peace. Be still!” – Mark 4:39
Luke shares a story from Jesus’ life where He is visiting friends. If Jesus were coming to my house for dinner I’d be STRESSED out! I’m sure Mary and Martha had much to do to prepare for Jesus and His guests. Martha found herself busy in the kitchen (I’d be found there too – sheepish grin) doing all the things that needed to be done for the “party of the century” while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet listening.
I totally get Martha. She was understandably annoyed. It would appear that Mary was shirking way from her responsibilities. I could see it going down like this…
“Jesus… there are cookies to baked, presents to be wrapped, and the ward party is in the morning. There is food to prepare. The sink is full, the counters need to be wiped off and the table set. I still have work this week and there is a concert ever night this week to attend. There are sick people to visit, visiting/home teaching visits to be done. The laundry room is taking on a life of it’s own. PLEASE tell Mary to get her rear in gear and help me out here!”
Jesus wasn’t ruffled by the chaos.
“My dearest Martha, you are worried and upset over these details. There is only one thing worth being so concerned about. Mary gets it. Take a breath. Listen. Learn. I love you tons.”
Okay… I took a few liberties with the story/scripture found in Luke 10:38-42. The Savior’s message is the same to me today.
“Stop rushing. Stop being so busy. Stop trying to do everything under the sun. Take a minute and remember ME. This season you are gearing up to celebrate? It’s not really about lights, or decorations. It’s not about presents or parties. It’s not all about the holiday traditions. It’s not about the demands of the calendar. It is about ME. This Christmas season is about peace… the peace I came to bring to the world… a small vulnerable infant in a manger. So let peace fill your heart. Let peace quiet your soul. Let ME be the best thing about Christmas (and every other day for that matter).”
I think this is His message to us as we approach Christmas.
I think this message of peace all something we’d like to see happen this Christmas. I know I am not experiencing this problem on my own. We know our lives are too busy and the promise of peace is something we desperately want. So how do I stop this “stillness illness?” How do I divide my time wisely (work, family, presents, activities, etc.) and plan my Christmas experience differently this year?
I can take a moment each day remembering Him in scripture study and prayer.
I can participate in the #LIGHTtheWorld activity and work at spreading joy and service to His children. Click here to see how I’m doing with that goal.
I can choose “best” over “good.” Volatire said good is often the enemy of the best. I can make every “yes” on my calendar reflect what’s most important to me in this season.
Christmas was never intended to take the life out of me. Christmas was intended to bring me closer to the Life and the Light of the World. Christmas is a time to celebrate Christ’s birth.
When we make room for Jesus, when we open our hearts to Him, we learn to enjoy His peace. The silent night is a holy night and we discover that “All is calm,all is bright, round yon virgin, mother and child.”