I have this lingering feeling that, despite my best efforts to the contrary, I still somehow managed to escape communing with the divine during the Christmas season just past. I danced the dance of Christian celebration. I tried to focus on the right things, steer the family away from the wrong things, and quietly accomplished all of my modest goals for meaningful celebration.
All of my goals, that is, save one. It should have been the highest one, but I think I reasoned that as the rest of the goals were checked off, this one would follow close behind. After all, birthday cake for Jesus, a Nativity-themed advent calendar, weekly candle devotions, and a discussion of what gifts we can give Jesus are all wonderful ways to teach kids what's really important about Christmas.
The problem was, in all of this season, I never stopped to really meditate on the wonder of God's gift. Would you believe that this is even the theme of the book I am writing, yet I still never fully stopped. I never took the time to sit and be overcome by the sheer wonder that the Creator of the Universe should have taken notice of little old me. That this almighty Being should have chosen to make a way for me to approach Him, and that His chosen way was first revealed in the form of an infant.
Psalm 46:10 tells us, Be still, and know that I am God.
Be still. Know. I AM. Pretty simple, really.
Thanks to my bloggy friends, I have at least had a sense that there should be something more. I am grateful for their soul searching, and their transparency in sharing their reflections on the season. Most of them have come up with meaningful responses to the work being done on their hearts. They have challenged me through their example, to stop and listen.
Like so many others, I am not big on New Year's Resolutions. I know my track record, and don't even believe myself when I make them. However, I resolve to spend more time being still, listening to what my Father would tell me. I resolve to know Him only as my God, and no other. Not parenting my kids, not volunteering at MOPS, not writing a book about Him.
A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace
Not for the first time, I am grateful that my God's graces are new every morning. He is faithful, He knows I am human, and He is always waiting when I am ready to set aside my personal goals and tend to Him once again. The recent Christmas season is not a loss due to my inability to stop and meditate on Him. The new year is not my last chance to start fresh.
But it is a chance. And one that I need to take right now. I am very okay if we label that a resolution for 2009, but I may have to make it all over again come February, March, and beyond.
Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades...
In my heart, in my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Your will above all else, my purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise
Perhaps as I do that, I will be able to shake the short-tempered, exasperated feelings and behaviors that seem to be poisoning me lately. I am sure my kids would be appreciative.
Be still. Know. I AM. God.
I look forward to reconnecting.
Lyrics from "From the Inside Out" by Hillsong United, 2006.