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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