Christmas and the Tension of Time

I’m over at The Glorious Table today!

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“What if time grew on trees?” ~Hayley DiMarco, A Woman Overwhelmed

When I read this question in a Bible study, I confess my thoughts drifted first to space on a full calendar and then to a cozy nook in our local library. Time growing on trees would mean I would be able to read all the books! It would mean I could sleep in and still get a great workout every day. It would mean I wouldn’t miss any of my favorite TV shows.

The tension of time seems exacerbated in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. The extra shopping, travel, end-of-the-year projects for work, and the ramping up of sports practices for my kids all seem to collide in early December. The tension comes with the reminder at every turn that this season is supposed to be about preparing for Christmas.

I don’t mean preparing for Christmas in a commercialized way. Don’t get me wrong; it’s more about people. I’m looking forward to my fifth grader’s school play. I can’t wait to explore Chicago at Christmas with my nieces for their first time. I’ll enjoy watching people I love open the gifts I’ve chosen for them, and I’ll love opening my gifts, too. But all of the rushing around, planning, preparing, and holiday extras can inch out hours of the day and draw my focus away from what I need to be doing.

Traditionally, Christmas has not been the holiday where gratitude has taken center stage in my circles of influence. Still, I have found, it is impossible for me to reflect on the wonder of the miracle of Christmas without entering a position of thankfulness. Jesus chose to become a baby to one day stand in the gap as my Savior. It all began on Christmas night. The humility and vulnerability exemplified in this act are astounding. Jesus separated himself from heaven, knowing all that would transpire.  Continue reading here…