Each and every year at Christmas I find myself getting wrapped up in the presents, instead of being present. I get swept away in the flurry of the “to-do’s” and the “have-to-get-done’s”, following a lifetime of traditions. The decorating of the tree, hanging the lights, writing out Christmas cards, baking Christmas goodies, and buying that “perfect” gift for that special someone. Every year I say, “This year is going to be simplistic, this year I am not going to do all the things I normally do because it is expected. I am just going to celebrate the reason for the season!” And yet another year passed by that I didn’t follow my true hearts desire. Instead, I got wrapped up in the presents and didn’t remain in the presence of loved ones or the Lord.
All the gifts we agonize over purchasing and wrap so tenderly are disposable, in the sense that they can’t possibly sustain us or give us what our soul truly craves the most. It’s our presence with those we love, being in the presence of Our Lord that sustains and feeds us. All the glitter and pretty lights can’t hold a candle to the radiant light that comes from the love of Our Lord and those we cherish the most. The Christmas tree lights dim and fade, the love and presence of Jesus never dulls, it radiates continuously. We then take that same love and shower it upon our loved ones, strangers, and those that are desperately needing it.
The gift of our presence is all encompassing. Being in the moment, relishing the memories we are creating, and holding on to what is right before us in this very moment is where our focus needs to be. We can get so lost and caught up in the everyday details of life. Where our focus needs to be is in the right now. Our focus needs to be on Our Lord and His sacrificial love for us, which overflows on to those that we encounter. Anything we focus on, becomes our focus. If we focus on our troubles we drown in them. If we focus on the gift of the here and now, seeing the good that comes from just being present, we gain more that we can imagine.
The Lord did give me the simplicity this past Christmas Eve that I had prayed for. My husband, my Mother-In-Law, and I went to a quaint little church down the road from where we live, for their Christmas Eve service. There were only 25 people in attendance. The service was performed by the church members singing, playing instruments, and speaking. Some were very endearing, others showed their inexperience being off-key and lacking harmony. The end of the service was very touching as we held our candles singing Silent Night together. I left that service feeling my prayer was answered, the service was simplistic. It’s simplicity meant more to me than any other church service I have attended in the past with Broadway type productions. This particular program was stripped down, in the moment, and it spoke to my soul the loudest. It is in the simple things; a smile, a hug, a look of compassion towards a stranger, a heartfelt hello, or a friendly, meaningful response. Getting lost in the details keeps us from experiencing, receiving, or giving those simple, stripped down moments with others and for our own selves.
I say, let’s get lost in the moments of the here and now! Let’s get immersed in the presence of Our Lord and those we love! Let’s allow the details of the day to fade in comparison to being present in the moment! Let’s keep our focus on what truly matters! Seasons and holidays come and go, people enter our lives and can suddenly leave, time keeps ticking by and we are left with the presence of the moments. This gift of life we are given is too precious to squander away. It’s time we live in the now and not miss out on anymore cherished times of just being present. I am praying this new year I can live this out and I pray the same for you!
Blessings of Peace to you,
Psalm 118:24 (ESV) This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV) Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…
Colossians 4:5-6 (ESV) Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you know how you ought to answer each person.
Psalm 16:11 (NIV) You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV) Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
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