My super sweet puppy girl is a traveling queen this holiday season, but she remains unconcerned. Her laser-like focus is reserved for playtime, snuggles, and pieces of food. All the crazy scheduling and stress go unnoticed. Instead, she carefully positions herself so that she’s in maximum contact with her people. I could use a lesson from this smart pup. Instead of worrying my head off about the house we just bought, the packing to be done, the ten thousand tiny things we’ll need to purchase; or the new family dynamics that I can’t quite figure, trying to split time fairly between families, or making sure I’m appropriate packed/dressed/prepared for every individual event; what if I just put the stress aside and instead refocused my priorities?
What if this season wasn’t about parties or planning or even presents? What if instead, I soaked up every last round of rummy played at the kitchen table? Every laugh, smile, or hug from the friends and family that surround us here in this season… those are the things that will hold me together when I realize, quite suddenly, that my darling dream home and dream job are three states away from my dearest loved ones, and that while God’s plan for us is more beautiful than I ever imagined, it’s just so far from where I pictured us. And then there’s the purpose of everything – the reason for family and friends and loved ones and celebrations at all. That a supremely perfect Savior was born into a world enslaved by sin, and instead of offering the judgement our sin had earned, he instead gave his life as a sacrifice so that we might live a full life. And this full life of mine, torn between state lines and sweet friends, every corner of my story, every morning when I wake, every fresh start that I don’t deserve, all point back to the humble birth of Christ – fully human and fully God – who came into the world without pomp or circumstance, and in his death brought righteousness to the world.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.