"Hurry is not a disoriented schedule, hurry is a disoriented heart." - John Ortberg
I just saw a news story that said 63 percent of people feel the Christmas season is more stressful than tax season. And that 71 percent said that their largest regret when the holidays are over is that "they did not take the time to relax and enjoy the season." (American Heart Association)
Suddenly, I feel the tug on my own holiday memory reel and current schedule and how this rings loudly true for me also. And, I wonder, how many of you reading this can raise your hand sheepishly admitting the same.
My sweet online Bible study group had the dearest of gatherings this past Thursday. Our beautiful teacher and praise and thanksgiving leader of the week brought us to the place of deep rest. They each, in their own way, had us...s l o w d o w n,,,
We listened to a gorgeous rendition of the song "Stille Naught"; (Silent Night) and the woman leading asked us to be still and lift up silent prayers of love to God as we lingered in its' familiar, soothing presence. Then our teacher taught on how on the night of Jesus' birth, the town was bustling in the busyness of the first decreed census occurring at the time. She reminded us of how even though over 2,000 years have passed, not much has changed at Christmastime. We are much like the majority of the dwellers of Bethlehem the night of Messiah's birth. Too busy to notice Him.
We rush past the miracle of the manger because we have decided that other things are more valuable to be mindful of, and more pressing and worthy to pay attention to.
Emmanuel - God with us. There should be nothing more important than remembering this occurrence on history's pages and how everything changed in a moment. God decided to enter into our restless lives so that we could find true peace at last. Rest for our souls. Eternal holy communion. If we choose it. Holy over hurry: Seems like an obvious choice to my stressed-out heart.
So, I have made a delightful decision. I am shredding my merciless to-do list. In its' place, I offer up the gift of more intentional time with God and my family and for myself. Instead of the hustle and the unquenchable hurry, I choose the priceless gift of holy silence this Christmas. Want to join me? Start a new tradition and a revolution of radical rest?
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased." (Luke 2:14 NASB)
Peace. Peace over the pressure, over the pushing, over the constant pleasing of impossibly perfect expectations.
Holy over hurry. Lord, help me choose You over all else. Not just during this holiday season, but every season because You and my life with You is what matters most. Amen.