We are too busy. Everybody knows it, lots of people feel it, but not many of us know what to do about it. And this time of year we usually ramp up the hustle and bustle. There are so many things culture – or our own traditions – tell us we must be doing. Shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating, going to parties and events. It can be a hoot, or it can be exhausting. It can be meaningful, or anxiety inducing.
Every year in December, I encourage my yoga students to evaluate their holiday activities and consider eliminating, or revamping, those that don’t bring them joy and peace. And I read a meditation to them. The source or author I have forgotten, so I can’t give credit where it’s due. But I think it still deserves a share here:
This is the beginning of a new day. I have been given this day to use as I will. I can waste it, or I can use it for good. What I do today is important, because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something I have traded for it. I want it to be gain, not loss; good, not evil; success, not failure; in order that I shall not regret the price I paid for it.
The pastor at the church we attend speaks often of lingering in God’s presence. But this past Sunday he preached on hurrying to linger with Jesus. The second chapter of Luke tells a familiar story to believers celebrating Christmas. Here we read about the birth of Jesus and the host of angels that appeared to a group of shepherds in the field to tell them about it.
Verses 15 and 16 read, “When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about. So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger.” These young men heard the best news the world has ever known – that the Savior of the world came down to earth in the form of a baby to forgive the sins of all who believe.
The Holy Scriptures do NOT indicate that the shepherds sat down and discussed their options, or debated whether or not the announcement was true. The didn’t clean themselves up first or make arrangements with their families. They HAULED IT to be with Jesus. Oh, I’ve been thinking about this message all week.
When was the last time you woke up excitedly anxious to spend time with the Lord? I hope your answer is better than mine. If I’m honest, instead of hurrying to get to Him, I often hurry through my time with Him to get to something else. But when I do linger in His presence – studying His word intently, searching for true meaning – blessings abound. Like one of those plush blankets we wrap up in, His love envelops me when I sit and listen to Him during prayer.
The richness of time with Jesus is better than the most expensive gift given this holiday, because it changes us. And that is definitely worth trading my time. For this reason, and so many others, I’m following the example of the shepherds. I want my rushing to be in His direction this Christmas.
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Martha J Orlando says
I’m rushing right along with you, Lauren! Wonderful thoughts today, my friend.
Thank you, Martha! We will be richly blessed to rush to Him.
Andrew Budek-Schmeisser says
I don’t have to chase The Man,
He’s walking here with me,
part of the master plan
to reach eternity.
Every step has now been turned
into a cancer-wrought devotional,
an whatever merit I have earned
is now just circumstantial.
He didn’t take that rough hard Cross
because I had been so good;
He simply could not bear my loss,
and was thus nailed to the wood.
His love was one I could not force;
’twas He said No to soul’s divorce.
This is beautiful, Andrew. Thank you for sharing it with me.
JENNIFER K COOK says
Lovely post. Visiting from your neighborhood FMF party.
I like being busy and in a hurry at times. I love that we should be hurrying to be at the feet of Jesus. What a great reminder/concept. Hope we all find time to linger a bit with the Lord today and everyday.
Me too Jennifer. Thank you.
Lauren, thank you for this sweet and gentle reminder. I’ve been struggling with this and the struggle lays on guilt, which makes it harder sometimes, right? I ordered Paul Tripp’s book “Come Let Us Adore Him” and that has been a great refresher for me! Have a blessed week Lauren and again thank you!
~Chrissy, Granola & Grace
Praying against guilt for you right now, Chrissy. I love Paul Tripp so I should check out that book! laurensparks.net
Sarah Geringer says
Love this perspective, Lauren! Sharing on Twitter, friend.
I admire so much your generosity to me and other writers. You faithfully share and it means so much to me. Thank you, Sarah.
Lisa notes says
I love your take on this, Lauren. I was intrigued by your title. 🙂 We often tell each other to slow down, slow down. But there are times when we need to haul it! Thanks for sharing this.
I can’t take the credit, my pastor inspires a lot of my writing with his sermons!
Patsy Burnette says
“They HAULED IT to be with Jesus.” and so should we! Great post, Lauren. Thank you for these important reminders!
Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Shout out to my pastor for the idea! Thanks, Patsy.
Oh, yes! Hurrying to get to time with God, rather than hurrying through our time with God to get to something else. Thanks for the good reminder!
You are so welcome, Laurie!
Cheryl Gerou says
Hurrying to be with the Lord, desiring that time of sweet intimacy, to be held in His love, and grow in knowing Him more….why do we seem to race through our time or skip it altogether? I know I needed this reminder. I allow other things to rush me through or to take the place of the time that I have set aside to be with Him. Thank you for sharing this. I need to hurry off to be with Him every day!
Me too, Cheryl. Other things seem more urgent, but nothing is as important.
Cheryl Gerou says
I get in the trap of hurrying through too! I need to learn to hurry to be with Him instead. Thank you for this reminder, especially during the busyness of Christmas, it is is easy to forget Who should be at the center of our priorities!
Lois Flowers says
Lauren, What a great point … that the shepherds didn’t sit down and discuss their options before they rushed off to see Jesus. I’m guessing the angels were pretty convincing, but the shepherds still had to up and leave in the middle of the night! I love the idea of hurrying to spend time with God each day. 🙂
Me too, Lois. Preaching to myself here. Thank you.
Shelbee on the Edge says
Lauren, this is a fantastic post and so inspiring! I try to live my days this way as well. And a gentle reminder is always a good thing. Thanks so much for sharing and linking up.
Thanks, Shelbee. I hope to encourage others to be present this Christmas.
Laura Thomas says
Rushing to spend time with Jesus… I love this! I’ll remember that, especially as the shepherds are mentioned over this Christmas season. Thanks for sharing. Stopping by from #tuneinthursday
Thanks for reading, Laura!
Rebecca Hastings says
This question made me stop: “When was the last time you woke up excitedly anxious to spend time with the Lord? ”
I think some things need to shift in my life so I can get to this place.
Me too, Rebecca. I was preaching to myself!
Michele Morin says
What an invitation to joyous celebration! Your title totally drew me in!
Maree Dee says
Lauren – I love the idea of rushing to be with God. When I fly, that is precisely how I feel. I can’t wait to get in my seat and then up in the air to spend time with God. I want to feel that way every day. Great post! Maree
What a great way to spend your travel time! Thanks, Maree.
Tracey Carr says
I wish I could slow down the hustle and bustle – so does my husband! We don’t spend enough time together and we haven’t been spending enough time with our daughters either recently. House refurbishments have taken over our lives. But in the last two weeks we have been learning to drop the paint brushes and go out together as a family and it has been fantastic. I am really looking forward to this holiday period for that reason. I have already told him that I am not particularly interested in fancy Christmas gifts. All I want is for us all to spend time together. If I can achieve that I will be very happy! Thank you so much for linking this beautiful post to #globalblogging x
I know what you mean, Tracey. I’m not good at it, but want to do better! Merry Christmas.