While listening to “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” for the already-eightieth time on the radio this season, I finally tuned into the words that were rolling out of my mouth. Parties, marshmallows, caroling – yes. But scary ghost stories? Say wha?? I don’t know anybody who told scary ghost stories at Christmastime. I’ve been singing this song for so many years (both at Christmas and in the first week of school) and never thought twice about how odd that one line is. I guess back in the sixties tales of the glories included zombies. It made me consider how many things have touched my life in the last year that I am not even aware of or forgot about. That I got too busy to notice or acknowledge. That were important but not flashy enough to get my attention over the distractions of the moment. And now, Lord have mercy, it’s Christmas and the retention of the year’s lessons is being threatened with every invitation, every decoration, every shopping trip, every gorgeous holiday post I scroll by. This little Advent thing we’re doing is a start, but if I’m not careful, everything will quickly snowball into a (not-so) merry little disaster.
In January I was taught to eat slowly and savour the experience of a meal. In the spring I did my strictest fast ever, and in changing my approach from me-and-the-food-I-can’t-eat-for-40-days to me-and-Him, it was one of the most beautiful things I ever experienced. In May I took part in a redefinition of “doing lunch”, eating simply while looking into the eyes of my tablemates and letting our hearts bravely lead us to new places. I can’t afford to not let these things come back to the front of my mind and consume me, especially now when I’ll be face-to-face with so many friends, family and hands-and-feet opportunities.
I’ll start with being still. Scratch that. I’ll start with learning how to be still. Before I resume shopping, finish this weekend’s instruction card, respond to any of four pending party evites, before I write another post, before I continue my already-behind Advent devotional, I need to get still and just be with Him. And then give Him, like, for real give Him, my Christmas. And then perhaps all of these lessons will naturally weave themselves into the season. Because I think it’s His in the first place, isn’t it? ------------------------------------------------------- So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Cor 10:31)