Tuesday, December 23, 2014

When Expectancy Eclipses Distraction

Christmas is in two days.  Two, short, 24-hour periods.  Unbelievable.

Sometimes the days are hard and rough and I think they will drag on forever.  How long will we be in this place, Lord?

Other days are saturated with joy and gratitude and intention and they vanish like hot breath on cold mornings.  Where has the time gone?  Weren't we just expectantly waiting the arrival of twin girls?  And suddenly, they are on the edge of two years old.

Every year we wait expectantly for Christmas.  The excitement begins to churn in November.  There is a lot to look forward to.  A reminder of love and grace.  We fight for humility and thanksgiving.  There is celebration and light, music and warm hugs, and yet another opportunity to share Christ with a dying world.

The weeks before Christmas come as a hallowed stirring, a heavenly build up, a holy pressure.  All for the birth of a God-made-human who would forever change my life.  A baby changes everything.

This is right.  This is holy.

My family and I light candles on an advent wreath during the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day. On the first day of advent we light a single candle, and each Sunday after that we add one to the circle of light.  When we lit the third candle last week, my four-year-old giddily bursted with, "One week closer to Christmas!"

He gets it.

The world would have us so wrapped up in red wrapping paper and red prices on a sales tag that our bank account reads red as well.  Distracted by the depression of debt.

The world would have us so stretched thin by commercialism and perfectionism that there isn't much left to give Christ.  Keeping up with the Jones' doesn't leave much time for keeping up with the Spirit.  Distracted by the entitlement of a thousand-dollar-Christmas.

Expectant waiting keeps our eyes focused on Christ.  It keeps our hearts tied to the one who created them.  Expectant waiting not only produces anticipation, but also appreciation.  It provides proper perspective.  It smooths over the disappointment, entitlement, loneliness and other distractions that Satan uses to draw our attention away from a most holy and awesome God.

Two days until Christmas.  Two days until we officially celebrate the arrival of our personal hero.  The one who sweeps us off our feet in the threat of hell.

Fight the temptation to be distracted in these last couple of precious days.  Every heart prepare Him room!

Merry Christmas my dear, sweet friends.  Merry Christmas.

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