Keeping things in Focus
The sun was setting, the dusk air was heavy with humidity – making it a tad foggy – and we were out hoping to see the deer beginning their nightly routine. Driving through the park to watch the deer at dusk is something that my folks started with my siblings and myself, when we moved to this area. It was now something I was doing with my children. With the 5 of them in the back of the van and Jeff driving slowly, we were all hoping that we could have a chance to see any deer that might be out.
Suddenly, Jeff stopped and pointed – “There, do you see it? Over under that small tree, there is just the top of the deer’s head.” We all strained to see it. As we were watching, the deer took wing and flew off. What Jeff had thought to be a deer, was really the tail feathers of a goose. (?? don’t ask – none of us have figured this out) 😆 To this day, “Wow, look at the deer!” has become a joke about seeing things wrongly.
Over the years, I have found that Christmas is one time of the year that I often end up seeing things wrongly. No matter how I try, I somehow get distracted. My distraction becomes thinking that I need to have the “right” decorations, the “right” food, the “right” activities. SO little of our Christmas celebration should be about things. SO much of it SHOULD be all about Jesus.
This is the time to get really gut (ugly??) honest with ourselves….what is the focus of our holiday season? Is it Jesus? Really? If we don’t bake a single cookie, if we don’t give a single gift, not send a single card, or attend even one single party or family gathering, will the holiday be a washout? Will we struggle with a sense of inadequacy of not doing enough???
Those are hard questions for me. I have to ask them of myself over and over and over again, all season long. Just about the time I think I’m doing well with all this, I suddenly finding myself stressing over a holiday issue. Does it have anything to do with Jesus? Likely the only thing that has to do with Jesus is my really lousy attitude that is accompanying it. 😕 (And that just evidence of my need for His saving Blood!)
For our family, one of the key indicators that we have found is “If this holiday is all about, all FOR Jesus, then what place do others play in it?” If we are truly celebrating the holiday for Him, shouldn’t other people have a key place? If our desire is to honor His birthday, then others must have center stage, as that is how He operated. (The older I get the more I find how little this life has to do with me. Isn’t that a bummer?!! And I was just hoping for Christmas this year, someone was going to give me a gift certificate for a pedicure and a day at the spa, a manicure – you know, a totally ME day.) 😉
There have been too many Christmases where I have been so consumed with my agenda, so consumed with my plans, that it likely would have taken a choir of angels to get me out of my “field” and heading to the stable. My challenge to myself, this year, is to keep my eyes focused on Jesus, seeking Him regularly to find who it is that He has me to minister to this season. My goal is to NOT let my plans keep me from the ministry that Father has orchestrated in my life.
That and getting a pedicure. 😉