Family gatherings. Even family gatherings aren't the real reason for Christmas. Each year someone in my family (quite possibly me) grumbles about "having to go out" to various houses. Yet, tradition in my family calls for family gatherings. We don't have a big family, but enough of one for it to be called such. For all my grumbling, I've discovered that I appreciate those gatherings. I long for the closeness of family, even if we really aren't all that "close" in distance or relation.
I'm finding myself disappointed and sad this year at the thought that our Christmas just might be a little quieter and less jam-packed with activity. I'm sad at the loneliness. What will I do with all this time off from work? I'll surely be bored!
Then I remember. Christmas is about Christ. It's about experiencing the stillness. The wonder. The magic of the moment. It doesn't have to be hurried. It doesn't even have to include family. But what it does have to include is Christ.
Honestly, I don't even want Christmas Day to arrive because I know it will eventually end. What I long for is for this week leading up to Christmas to last forever. I want the magic to last. I want the joy and the cheer to last. I want people to remember the reason for their days, not just this season.
And so, I receive. I receive the truth and remember that even I have a lot to remember. He is more important to me than my to-do list or my calendar...and even more important to me than my family. He has created me with a very specific purpose and my days are to be used for Him. I'll have time off from work - eight days. What will the Lord have me do? Here I am Lord. Speak to me. Let me hear you in the time you've freed up on my calendar. Help me not to be afraid and instead want to find comfort in the busyness.