With Christmas only days away, and the Breath of Fresh Air homestead abuzz with preparations, it feels like a good time to slow things down and focus. How easy it is to be distracted by all the glitter and tinsel of this annual celebration. If your inbox is at all like mine, it’s been inundated with retail discounts and last minute gift ideas. Our letterbox has been swamped with catalogues (the recycling bin is working overtime), and as for the local shopping centre, if you don’t get there early, don’t expect a parking spot.
Why do we do it? Why do we let all the distractions overwhelm us? At church the other day, a dear friend mentioned she had been to hospital that week with chest pains. Everything was fine with her heart, but she knew her stress level was high. ‘Tis the season for stress, overload, and overindulgence.
So many of us want that perfect Christmas Day experience, but the reality is that the perfect Christmas happened over two thousand years ago, in a straw-filled manger in Bethlehem. No trimmings or tinsel. Divine simplicity.
It’s time to stop.
Time to slow down.
Time to breathe.
This year, we have two busy family days, with the busiest of all on the 26th when all the family will come together at the Breath of Fresh Air homestead. This morning, in the midst of all the preparations, I went in search online for a floral centrepiece for our table. For goodness sake—a floral centrepiece? Who was I trying to impress? This is family. The same family that laughs/groans at the corny jokes in the Christmas bon-bons. The same ones who are more excited about giving their gifts than they are in receiving. It’s the people who will be happy as long as there is Mum’s fried rice and Porter Punch on the menu.
Live in the moment.
Let His peace overwhelm you.
His light outshines the brightest Christmas lights (and let me tell you, given the wattage of our neighbour’s display this year, that’s really saying something).
His gift is greater than anything you may find at Tiffany’s or Apple or in any one of the bazillion catalogues now living in our recycling bin.
His joy embraces us, whether our Christmas Day meets every expectation or not.
In all the self-imposed busyness of this season, you have His permission to rest in Him.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
John 1:5 (NIV)