Christmas is coming…
But it’s only September—
(that’s what I thought a few months ago).
And already stores had decked their aisles
with plastic pine and gold and silver, candy canes and snowmen…
But the time of snow was yet to come, as outdoor air had barely cooled,
where autumn had only recently made her entrance.
How I longed to pause and enjoy this vibrant, splendor-filled time of year!
This season of jewel tones and burnished hues in earth and branch and sky,
By looking intently at leaves turned brilliant and
Of changes longed for after the heat of summer,
And home’s welcoming comforts
Reviving chilled noses, toes, ears and cheeks and hands.
Can we not gloss over Thanksgiving? Ushering in harvest and Halloween décor before fall begins, and then pulling it all from the shelves and stuffing whatever’s left into a back corner by mid-November, to make (more) room for Christmas stuff?
I don’t want to become the young man from the fable who pulled the magic thread to skip boring and unpleasant days, to fast-forward to more interesting days – and altogether miss the point of living a thankful life.
I cannot believe I am the only woman among God’s daughters
Who struggles to reclaim time and space for celebrating autumn, for gazing on winter, and longing for more time to contemplate reasons for gratitude…
While watching a harvest moon appear above the foothills,
And noticing how golden leaves of cottonwoods shimmer against the deep blue of an Indian summer sky,
For enjoying quiet walks in chilled air as the sun goes down,
Or standing silent beneath a wintry sky before day begins, with pre-dawn chill frosting the landscape…
Can we wait to shop for Christmas till after we’ve gathered at the table with family to express thanks to our God for another year of His goodness? Before rushing to the stores to accumulate more stuff and new gadgets and one-day-only discounts?
Can we carve out time to simply reflect on this holiday season, to remember pilgrims from Europe seeking religious freedom and finding it on our eastern Atlantic shores, to look back at a year full of Divine favor and saturate our minds with memories of answered prayers and God’s provision? To pause and reflect.
Who desires more time for spending with Him
And longs for less pressure to make and keep appointments
for pot-lucks and parties and obligatory events?
It might be possible to condense, to combine,
To even – yes – eliminate an event or two,
In an effort to relieve us of further holiday stress and busy-ness.
Doesn’t the Psalmist say, Be still and know that I am God?
Not Plan another (fill in the blank) and know that I am God.
As Matthew Henry hinted at, in being acquainted with the Creator and Savior, do we make time to show our allegiance and to express our adoration, on our knees secluded from people and responsibilities and distractions?
How big is my longing for more time with my God, for knowing Him fuller and deeper?
Over 100 times in Scripture I read of giving thanks, of being thankful, of this great human need for offering thanksgiving to God, and for a greater comprehension of how good is His committed love to those who trust Him.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord! Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore! Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth, O seed of Israel His servant, you children of Jacob, His chosen ones! – 1 Chronicles 16:8-13 & Psalm 105
The week of Thanksgiving is past, but any day is a good day for contemplating His truths. On this New Year’s Day and in the days to follow I can make time for being still, for whispering Thank You. I can resolve to spend more time at His feet, getting to know Him… fully… deeply… longingly.
A resolution to be kept begins with a longing desperate to be filled.