|Photo Credit: mconnors at morgueFile.com|
Who else was wearing flip-flops and shorts while preparing their home for Christmas over the last couple of weeks? I checked the outside temp. as we decorated our tree and it was a frosty eighty plus degrees – brrrr...UGH! Needless to say, it didn’t “feel” like Christmas weather. BUT, we did it anyway, and honestly, it felt great to see the lights aglow after it was all said and done.
Obviously, the weather isn’t the reason for this beautiful time of year. It’s Jesus’ birth. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the weather we’re having now and it does feel more like Christmas. But, whether it’s eighty degrees or thirty degrees…He is still there (thank goodness!). And, when my daughter prays, “I hope Jesus has a good birthday this year,” it truly melts my heart that she gets it.
Over the last few weeks, the anticipation has been increasing…so have the trips to town. I’ve found that it has been very easy to lose focus. It takes much more effort to be in the moment when we’re looking ahead to Christmas programs, family get-togethers, parties, Christmas cards, buying and wrapping presents…and the list goes on.
Time is precious, isn’t it? Time is so precious that the good Lord gave it to us only one tiny second at a time. Here lately, it seems that I’ve forgotten that. I look too far ahead. Maybe you’re doing the same? I look to the next week’s festivities, the weekend commitments and many times, I forget to live in the precious, present moment. Hurry here. Hurry there.
As they say, inch by inch is a cinch, but yard by yard is hard.
My five-year-old daughter has become very intrigued by the whole concept of time. We often discuss the differences between today, tomorrow, yesterday, tonight, last night, this week, next week, next month, and so on.
So, to go along with the time fascination, she times me…everywhere I go. I went to grab some lotion from the other bathroom and came back. “Fifty-one seconds, Mom,” she said. I got the supplies together to put her hair up. “That took you ten seconds, Momma,” she replied. REALLY?! I do have to giggle at how she reports the time to me from a digital clock, though. For 5:30, she’ll say, “Mom, it’s five, dot, dot, three zero.” Love it…love the detail!
She’s also interested in years. “How old is your car? How old are Jesus, Mary, and Joseph? How old is this house…in dog years?” What?! Looks like we need to work on that some more.
Needless to say, she’s brought “time” to the forefront of my mind. And, because we only get a certain amount of it, I want to slow down enough to enjoy it. How can I make my time and the time of those around me more pleasant? There is something…something very magical that every single one of us can share and sometimes we just choose not to. It’s a gift that each of us was born with and it doesn’t cost a thing to give. It’s called a smile.
Just for the heck of it, I made a concerted effort to smile at ten random people the other day while shopping. Of course, everyone was on a mission...as if under some sort of shopping spell. The glitz and glam is alluring indeed. Shopping carts were in a don’t-get-in-my-way-mode and the shoppers were in a daze, with their eyes fixed on the prize. BUT! A simple smile…well, it broke the spell. Their shoulders relaxed, their cart speed slowed, and...they smiled back.
I’m serious. Try it. Even if you don’t feel like it…especially if you don’t feel like it…you’ll be amazed of the power it has…over you and them.
Another thing to try this season is a random act of kindness. Do something for someone. It doesn’t have to be monetary. Sometimes, the very best gift we can give is ourselves. The thrill of giving, rather than receiving, is delightful. If you have never given anonymously, try it…it’s the type of giving when you don’t expect anything in return. God sees and that’s all that really matters.
During the hustle and bustle, we also need to remember that we can’t do everything, but we can do something. We CAN do something in our corner of the world to make a difference. And, instead of complaining about what we DON’T have this season, let’s focus on what we DO have. A positive attitude will draw out the best in us. The more blessings we count, the more they seem to increase.
If we keep our eyes focused on the gift of Jesus’ birth, everything else will fall neatly into place because our focus isn’t on worldly things. While we are preparing our homes and presents, are we preparing our hearts? Are we making use of our time in a way that’s getting more than the tree ready?