As I sit here and write this piece today, my mind is racing. I am thinking about the end of Parker’s and Wesley’s baseball seasons. I am thinking about the members of my family that I will see at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am thinking about the members of my family that I have lost this year that I will not see at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am thinking about when I have to be where and at what time. And none of this takes into consideration the many activities and opportunities that are taking place here at Druid Hills and those I will participate in to support Debbie and Belleview UMC.
I tell you all of this because I know all of you are dealing with the same thoughts in your own lives. We all have invitations we have accepted, places that we want to be and often times are wondering how we will get it all done with only 24 hours in a day. When I read or hear someone say there are only so many days or weeks before Christmas, I do not know about you but my heart rate picks up a tick.
Therefore, I want to encourage all of us to take a break. Not a long break mind you, but a break. Every day I want to encourage you to take a few moments in the morning before you get started with your day or in the evening just before you lay down to rest and I want you to thank God. No phones, no computers, no books, no disruptions; just you and God. Thank God for all God has done for you that day. Thank God for all the opportunities you have to share love and life with those closest to you. Thank God for being God and walking with you through the joyous times and the sad times. This is not the same as your daily prayer time. This is different. This is separate.
We are all busy; we all have demands placed on our time. But my hope for you is that as you engage in this practice any anxiety you are harboring may ease up; any stress that is building may dissipate a bit; and the focus of your day may shift from “have to” to “excited to”. You see it can be in that “excited to” mentality that you might notice God, feel Christ, and be empowered by the Holy Spirit. It is in that anticipatory state of mind that the meaning of Christ’s birth can come alive. It is in that type of childlike hopefulness that we can feel the excitement that comes with remembering that all those years ago, when Christ gave up his place in Heaven to walk across the cosmos and meet us as we were, where we were, to show us how much we are loved, that our lives will be forever changed.
May you each feel that assurance and hope this Advent season. May you each have your faith strengthened and may you all feel yourselves drawn closer to God. The gift of Jesus is one that reminds us that not only are we loved by our Creator, but that our Creator loves each and every one of us here. Share that love with another, do not get lost in the hustle and bustle, and may you all have a wonderful and Merry Christmas!