Have you ever noticed? In the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day the world slows down. Everyone snuggles at home more. Even businesses seem to find a lower gear, shorter hours, more grace for family. We cocoon with the treasures of our hearts: family and friends.
The world takes a breath.
It is as if, between the celebration of incarnation and the headlong rush into our future, we collectively pause to assess. In a society that paces before the microwave of life, we … suspend…for a brief, almost inperceptible, moment. The path before holds no footprints. Every new year holds the promise of beginning again – of Jubilee come to our hearts.
Then comes the Rose Parade, all those Bowl games, the rifle goes off and the race is on!…again…for another year.
So in the few dwindling days of 2010, I pause to consider. What has my life meant in the last 364 days? Have I furthered the Kingdom? Have I been attractive for the gospel – or has my flesh pushed people away? Has the noisy, demanding tyranny of the world pushed out the still quiet voice of God?
Christmas as a celebration of the incarnation is not only our salvation story, it is a daily challenge to our way of life. Praise God that when Jesus came to earth, he passed by any bounds of race, nationality or origin. He considered our distress in sin to be more pressing than His position of deity. Do I consider the needs of others to be more pressing than my position – my rights – my selfish interests?
I do not want to live to be old. I want to live to be mature – mature in the mind of Christ. I do not desire many years, but to live graciously and broadly in the years I am given. Like a traveler, I do not wish to rush around in a circle – to be taught the same lessons year after year for my failure to learn them. Rather, I want to push out into new thoughts, new responsibilities, hopefully walking in a manner pleasing God.
2011 is here. The old year peels off the days like an onion nearing its center, richer, fuller flavored than the dry husky days of last summer. Savoring them requires time spent doing nothing but perusing the dusty corners of one’s own mind. But now I am fixing my eyes on the unmarked path leading away from the fireplace and the solace of warm, snuggly places. 2011 beckons.