December first. Hard to believe…for so many reasons. Thanksgiving has come and gone – and seems like it was months ago (not just seven days!). I missed my Thanksgiving recap and my
look back at November. These things stress me out – and I told myself this was the year of no stress! So, with that as my push to move-on…..I’ll jump straight to Five Minute Friday. It is a great way to push reset and to start this new (and final) month! The prompt today is near. Writing for simply five minutes….and without (excessive) editing – which I will not allow to stress me:)
GO – It’s a familiar scene. You are excited and anticipating a wonderful visit with someone special. You find the comfiest seat in the room and pat the spot right next to you. “Come – sit here,” you suggest – inviting that someone to come close. To be near, making your time together even more intimate. These visits, conversations and time together (side by side) are the ones of extra connection.
Of course, you first have to be sure the space right next to you is clear. If there happened to be “stuff” – laptops, magazines or that load of fresh laundry waiting to be folded – in the way, you would quickly move it aside (or stuff it behind the couch…depending on the guest!). Left strewn about, all that day to day stuff would come between you and the close visit you want.
As I mentioned, this year I am wanting an intimate holiday. With my family, friends and, especially, with my savior. God himself born as the babe in the manger. I have already started trying to re-focus and to reclaim the calm – to savor the beauty and holiness of Christmas. I want to draw near to Jesus. But, in the blink of an eye (or 100 tiny white lights), so much “stuff” can pile up between me and my best intentions. Between me and the Christ of Christmas.
END – the five minutes are gone….but my final thoughts. To-do lists are not wrong nor are most of the things-to-do on those lists. The extra activities of Christmas – they are fun and even meaningful. But all of it must be put – and kept – in its proper place and in perspective. The things of Christmas aren’t supposed to draw us away from Christ. The activities of the season should have meaning – creating memories and bringing extra joy…not simply stress. And there should be purposeful, intimate quiet times with the savior. Drawing near.
There are several ways to be more intentional this year but one suggestion is a Bible reading plan – one specific for Christmas. Or perhaps a devotional for the month of December. These type of plans keep you on track, help focus your thoughts and give you direction during your quiet time. Over the years, I have read some very helpful and practical, as well as wise and thought-provoking devotions. Of course, there have been some I have started that I did not enjoy as much. That’s okay – just keep looking. I suggest you find something that leads you to scripture so you can get in God’s word and allow Him to speak with you personally as well.
Certainly – the true reason for this season – for Christmas – is found near the manger.