Let Us BE. | Christmas with a Difference
Wow, life is busy at the moment. It feels like a real challenge to even find time to stop and write this, but I’ve set myself a challenge, and I’m determined to complete it. Today marks the start of a really busy week, more so than normal in the lead up to Christmas. I’m out every night, there’s more than one thing happening each day, and it just feels extremely full-on.
Now, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who’s got calendars or diaries that look vaguely similar to the description above; part of me thinks that’s just part of Christmas. However, I’m not sure that’s healthy, especially for a prolonged period of time.
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, (and personally I’m the former), it’s important to prioritise some time for yourself in amongst the numerous work events, social events, and to-do lists. I fully appreciate the irony in posting this on what is probably my busiest day in December (i.e. 4 back-to-back arrangements/events), but I promise I’m trying my best to listen to my own advice. It’s even more ironic now I’m trying to hastily finish this post in order to get it published, having had maximum 45 minutes at home since the alarm went off at 5:45 this morning. But, we’ll get there!
It can be really hard to find some quiet time when everything around us is ‘GO GO GO’, and in a way, it can sometimes feel selfish to say, “I’m sorry, I can’t attend”, if you’re trying to prioritise you. While this is really hard, I’m learning that sometimes, it needs to be done.
I’ve been relearning the meaning of Sabbath too over the last couple of months. For a very long time, Sabbath has merely been the day at the end of creation, and somewhat translated into Sunday. But, in reality, how often was it proper Sabbath? In the last few years especially, I’ve had mountains of school work to do, and never managed to get it all done to stop working on Sundays. (I wish I had, but I never managed it).
Instead, this year I’m trying to apportion Sabbath days. Regardless of what day of the week they may be, I’m freeing the time and space in a day to devote it to God. To filling my brain with things of Him, be it His word, worship music or just prayers – it’s a different way to be still.
I’m finding it really hard to find space this Christmas. It’s all pretty much non-stop, and I feel as if I’m chasing my tail. While I had time to get excited and prepare for Christmas weeks ago, it seems as though the closer to Christmas we get, the less festive, or prepared I feel. And I know, that this is because I’m too busy. I need to take time to stop.
Last year (and I’m talking academic years here), I worked so hard that I felt I lost myself. I didn’t know who I was, nor where I could find relaxation, or anything different than studying. By changing pace since September, and slowing things down, I’m trying my best to take things as I come, and redefine my own self-worth in something scriptural and God-given (a challenge, I know!)
As a result, I’m learning the benefit of rest – and I want to challenge that this Christmas. In order to BE ourselves, we need time to BE.
To BE quiet, to BE honest, and to BE alone.
To BE watchful, reflective and open.
While this is sometimes unusual in today’s society, you may find it’s of benefit. Maybe just try it? I know I’m going to make some time and space for it, especially between Christmas and New Year. In those moments that seem ‘empty’, how about using it for something different, and choosing rest.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10 (NIV)