Walking the dog this morning, I began to get frustrated as he pulled on the leash and wanted to sniff everything and everywhere. We worked on “heel” and just as I began to wonder why he was so unfocused, I realized: I’m unfocused too. Around this time of year, the To-Do List stays on the front burner and it makes me feel scattered, distracted and just a bit cranky.
Of course, I adore the Christmas season. I love celebrating the birth of our wonderful Savior. I love giving gifts and remembering those who have helped my family throughout the year. I love attending and hosting parties and get-togethers. I love baking and wrapping and decorating. I love it all! However, as lovely as all these things are, it’s too easy to allow those things to push out the real gifts of this season. The gift of joy: the promised Messiah has finally arrived! The gift of peace: He has conquered death and promises eternal life. The gift of love: He desires relationship with us more than we can ever imagine.
Those are the gifts I long for in this season; the ones I also deeply desire for my family, friends, house-guests…and I guess even the dog! So as I walked in the frigid air this morning, I reflected on how to focus on those gifts instead of the endless To-Do’s. The only thing I know to do is to draw near. James 4:8 tells us, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” How wonderful! Could the secret to Christmas Sanity really be so easy? I think so. The simple secret to enjoying a joyful, peaceful season marked by love is to surround yourself with Him instead of with everything else. Staying in prayer, reading your Bible every day, and meditating on Him even when there are 40,000 other things crying for attention is a surefire way to experience His goodness.
So draw near, sweet friends. And He will draw near to you, bringing His joy and peace and love right along with Him.