Here in North Texas it's the last week of school before Christmas break. The children are excited, the teachers are even more excited, and there is very little blank space on our calendars. The kids are cramming for finals, invitations to parties and programs are vying for our attention, and we are all shopping until we drop for the perfect gifts for family and loved ones. The items on our to-do lists are jockeying for positions in our day, but we have little time to accomplish them because we don't want to miss a parade, tree-lighting, or holiday TV special. In order to present a Pinterest-worthy Christmas, we decorate and bake and wrap and ribbon curl until we have tinsel coming out of our toenails!
Between the twinkling tree lights and the shiny new gifts, we can be blinded to our need for slowing down to spend quiet time with God.
I want to show you my view as I write this.
My fur baby, Meg, lets me know when I am letting my busyness encroach upon her time with me. Granted, my doggie believes ALL my time belongs to her, but in some ways, that's how it should be with God. In John 15:4-7, Jesus said, "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for part from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." (ESV)
To abide means to stay. We can abide in Christ by spending time in prayer and reading His word, but it is so much more than that. It is staying in intimate fellowship with Him in our daily walk. It's being constantly conscious of our union with Him. Ever mindful of and respectful to His presence. And when we abide, we draw life and vitality from Him, just as the branch does from the vine. But God doesn't want our time and attention just because He knows it's good for us (which it most definitely is). He longs to be with us. Zephaniah 3:17 tells us that when He is in our midst, "He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy." (NASB)
Don't lose sight of what's important during the Christmas crazy. Join me in spending some intentional quiet time with Emmanuel - God with us. He waits for you to carve out a niche in your schedule. He waits for me. "Each of us is an Innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus." - Neal A. Maxwell
"When I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me." Psalm 63:6-8 (ESV)