Shhh… it’s Him!
Traditionally my family decorates for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. Prior to Thanksgiving, I refuse to listen to Christmas carols, refrain from buying a poinsettia, avoid the Hallmark channel, and slay the urge to succumb to the pressure of moving on to the next holiday thing. It’s not that I don’t love Christmas, and it’s not so much stubbornness as a desire to discipline myself to slow down and appreciate each moment of this precious season. If you are like me, however, that is easier said than done. As we decorated our tree this year, I was once again deeply moved by an ornament I was given some years ago. It’s a simple wooden manger scene, but underneath are written the words, “Shhh… it’s Him!” I know it’s nothing profound, but somehow every year, the message of it becomes more deeply personal, like a gentle whisper from my Heavenly Father reminding me to take a deep breath and ponder the wonder that Christ has come, that despite all the trappings of the Christmas season, all I really need to do is fall on my knees. In addition to decorating for Christmas this Thanksgiving break, I also read a little book by Kevin DeYoung called Crazy Busy. As you can tell, my life has a theme, and I bet I’m not alone in this, especially during the holidays. Pausing just feels impossible. Mr. DeYoung makes this observation: “The busyness that’s bad is not the busyness of work, but the busyness that works hard at the wrong things. It’s being busy trying to please people, busy trying to control others, busy trying to do things we haven’t been called to do.” He goes on to say that the antidote to busyness is not laziness or indifference, but “rest, rhythm, death to pride, acceptance of our own finitude, and trust in the providence of God.” I agree. Perhaps this year as we approach Christmas, we will be reminded that we also approach a glorious King, and perhaps that knowledge will change our approach entirely. After all, it’s Him!