There is so much I should be doing! So much! So! Much! So where do I start--I blog!!!! I have so many things I need to do in preparation for the Holidays that I am paralyzed. I am stuck!
Where's the inspiration? Where's the motivation? Where's the final internal thought that will propel me into action? It's missing again today! I have visited so many of your blogs and have seen that many of you are in full swing for the season. Homes are being decorated, gifts are purchased and wrapped, Christmas photos are stamped and sealed; I've even seen new Christmas templates for crying out loud!
Maybe I'll be the face of Christmas paralysis this year! My intentions are good but the grip of anxiety in my gut prohibits any meaningful movement! There must be others that experience this dilemma, aren't there? See, that's the pull of anxiety: it tells you, you are alone in this state!
But I know better. I know that the compelling reason of the season is the birth of our Savior. No doubt, if I had been Mary, nine months pregnant, riding that donkey , to only find no room in the Inn....I would have been paralyzed with anxiety! Still, the birth of our Messiah would not be postponed. Deserving of a royal birthplace, he was born in a manger. Somehow, the simplicity of his birth has been lost with complex lists and endless preparations of things that must be done. As I sit in this thought, I can feel the Christmas paralysis ease.
Mary's example helps me welcome the season. While in the throws of a not-so-ordinary childbirth, finding herself in a stable, Mary also hosted unexpected company. Angels proclaimed the birth of the Savior and soon shepherds and wisemen followed the Star to Bethlehem and visited the newborn baby. A close look at Luke, chapter 2, tells us what Mary's response was to all of this. It seems, Mary did not stress, did not fret, did not panic--"she treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."
Pondered? Pondered! In the midst of my Christmas paralysis, I am moved to ponder. Like you, I have so many things to treasure; at the top of the list is my son's trip home next week for an early Christmas. He has a four day break in his new work schedule so he is coming home! There are so many things to be done before he arrives--I want his trip home for Christmas to be perfect. Yet, in the spirit of treasuring and pondering, I will shorten my list to simply loving him. Yes, the guest bedroom will get cleaned and I will get in the car and buy his Christmas presents soon. But for right now, I will treasure and ponder! I treasure the steps he is making towards health and well-being. I treasure his reunification and engagement with us--his family. I treasure the One who has heard my prayers.
I ponder the lessons we have learned over the last decade of my son's wayward years. I cherish the joy that is felt in the good times and yes, even the pain that has been endured during the bad times. How would we know joy without pain? For it is in the depth of our pain that we find our Savior. Like the shepherds who were keeping watch over their flocks by night, if we are watching, pain directs us to our Savior.
Today, I ponder this: "Do not be afraid [or anxious!]. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the LORD.....Glory to God in the highest on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
His favor rests.....peace to men......his favor rests......great joy! What love! I think I just heard the internal voice of peace....that eases all Christmas paralysis! How about you?