Monday, December 3, 2012

Take a Moment for Beauty

So here I am again, returning to writing as prescribed by yet another caring counselor.

The prescription was not so much the writing as the setting aside time, SCHEDULING time to go do something I enjoy.

No, it could not be getting groceries by myself,
or cleaning house,
or laundry,
or running any other of a thousand errands.

It must be something I enjoy simply for the sake of doing it.

There was something different about the way she described it that helped me get past the pop-culture mantra of self-care that has almost become an idol.

She didn't put the emphasis on "taking care of ME".

The emphasis was on engaging in something I enjoy. In essence, she told me to live out God's call to use and enjoy the gifts he has given me, whatever they may be.

It can be so easy to get lost in the "DO-ing for the sake of accomplishing" that we forget that sometimes just using the gifts we're given is the accomplishment.

It is the drawing closer to God.

It is the communing.

Just as we burst with joy when we watch our children discover and radiate with passion as they blossom in their God-given gifts, so too our heavenly father longs to be present with us as we find the simple joy present in discovering and enjoying our gifts.

Yet this time was not easily surrendered. I struggled to get going this morning. The lists on my cupboard have begun to accumulate with this or that needed for special holiday celebrations at school, book exchanges, goodies needed for this program or that gathering, teacher gifts, family gifts yet to order, things to wrap, things to gather, cards to send.

And I don't even do a bunch of holiday baking or host the big Christmas meal.

If you asked me, I would say that I've already whittled my holiday "extras" down to a manageable minimum.

Yet here I sit, weighed down by an impending sense that every moment must be carefully crafted so that nothing is neglected or forgotten.

And then I realize ... THIS is what I'm focusing on, lists of things to do!

In the living room are lights, candles and decorations intended to bring warmth and joy as we prepare our hearts and minds for the anticipated birth of Christ.

But here, in the kitchen, command center of the house, is list after list of expectations.

And they are most all relevant and important.

But must I post them front and center to glare down at me each moment?

I do that because I fear forgetting. I fear there is so much my feeble mind can never hold it all.

The thing is, if I forgot one cookie platter or have to run a gift by later, all is not lost.

The battle for eternity has already been won.

We have only this moment,

and the next,

and the next.

And in each lies an abundant gift.


If we but pause to open it.