"How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?" - Dr. Seuss
It may only seem natural that my mind feels like it is in warp speed mode lately. So many things to think about, to plan about, to figure out… and it feels like time is just flying by. The other day, I sat thinking about how I am coming up on being here for an entire year! What a year it has been, right? Just like time has flown by at the same time it feels like it has been a lot longer with all of the changes, adaptations, new ways of doing ministry, and trying to navigate the un-navigable of a pandemic.
Time is a funny thing -- either we feel that it is going to slow or it is speeding past us. The holidays can be just that, speeding right past us and before we know it we are in a ThanksChristmas blur. Does this holiday season feel differently for you? Maybe you are feeling that this may be the most unhurried holiday season that you have ever had -- with canceled in-person Christmas’, holiday parties, and rearranged activities -- it seems to be turning out to be a very unhurried season. It may even make us long for the time that it was filled with all the plans and running around from here to there (I don’t think anyone thought they would miss that…).
I was reading a devotion about the un-hurriedness of the holiday season and how to achieve it -- granted this was before a pandemic hit. However, in this article, one part really hit me. The author was talking about the first Christmas and what the shepherds probably thought. They may have been in a hurry to probably see the baby that was born -- the savior, but when they arrived, I am sure like many of us when we see a newborn -- they settled down, they stood in awe, they marveled at the baby, and they stopped hurrying.
What if we stopped hurrying? What if we took time during this crazy COVID situation that we are in and gave thanks for the unhurriedness? What if we slowed down and enjoyed the moments around us? What if we stopped to take it all in? A quote from the Proverbs 31 devotion, “As a result we just might discover an unhurried holiday: a season that will strengthen us spiritually instead of sapping our energy and joy. How about it? Will we pause and purpose to hurry into His presence instead of rushing from task to task? Dare we linger long enough to be refreshed by the company of the One whom the holiday is really about? The tasks will wait while we do.” I think about this as the next several months pass by even without the holiday stress and hussle -- how will I stop and enjoy the moments instead of getting caught up in all the “have-to’s” and just settling in his presence each day?
I pray that God slows down my thoughts and tasks to truly bask in the presence of the blessings He has given around me, the miracle that He is creating inside me, and the miracle that He created so long ago in Jesus! May you truly be reflecting on the most precious thing of this holiday season -- Jesus' birth and the birth of Salvation. May you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
In His Love,
Jessica Tibben was installed as Director of Family Life at SHLC in December 2019. She was previously working in Denison, IA as Director of Youth and Family Ministry for the past 5 years. She loves being able to serve both youth and families and bringing them to know more about Jesus.