My list of Christmas action items feels longer than Santa’s naughty list. The alarm grunts at me, and the I-should’s instantly pop up like hostile beaver heads. Every time I knock one down, more pop up. I’m hoping I don’t run out of time to slam them all into oblivion (thank you, imagination) before Christmas Day. My prayers become prayers for efficiency, that I might not forget a coach or a teacher or my husband…
For not getting all the things done that should be done, my heart condemns me. And then I’m sad. And it’s Christmas for goodness sake. I want to be peaceful and rest in the Lord. I call Him Father and do my best to love for Him. That’s what He asks in 1st John.
I’m sitting at Gabe’s swim practice watching them kick their hearts out while pushing kickboards and making a terrible splashing ruckus behind them, shaking all the way through their shoulders with the effort. (That is how my spirit feels: shaken all the way through with holiday efforts.) Gabe loves swimming. I love him loving it. Watching him progress is a great joy. And if I’m not careful– all-encompassing. Recently, someone I love called me to the carpet about putting my relationships in the back seat and giving the steering wheel to my son’s future Olympic stardom. Did you know Michael Phelps didn’t find true happiness? Even after winning those 22 Olympic medals? After being so super, so undeniably amazing that his records most likely won’t be broken for a decade. Uhem. Gabe would be twenty then…
So it didn’t make Phelps happy, all that success. I’m also noting that doing all my action items doesn’t necessarily make me happy. It’s elusive. God doesn’t want it to be a recipe: Do this good deed and voila! Happiness. Or a slot machine: Do this good deed and hope you get the jackpot of happiness.
The Truth: You [God] have put gladness in my heart more than when grain and new wine abound. – Psalm 4:7
I’m working so hard, hoping God will put gladness in my heart this Christmas. In any stress, I default Martha, busy about so many things, but Mary was the slacker sitting at Jesus’ feet, getting that happiness.
Paradoxical: Do nothing, get happiness. Sigh. I suppose that’s why they call it faith. There are many examples in the Bible of great people who were supposed to do nothing for a moment and just couldn’t do nothing: King Saul, Peter, Moses.
Today I prayed to be Mary, somehow, even though I’ve many things about which to be distracted as I get ready for Christmas. I’m certain it’s possible to peacefully work. It’s not that I will sit and meditate today, trusting that elves or angels will come and wrap our gifts or cook the food or school Gabe. But I will sit at Jesus’ feet in my heart and do these things. That’s how I dedicate the day to the Lord.
That’s how I’ll combat Christmas overload, best I can.