Less Is More

December 11, 2003

1 Kings 19:11-13 – Then he was told, "Go stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by." A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn't to be found in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake, but God wasn't in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn't in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper. When Elijah heard the quiet voice, he muffled his face with his great cloak, went to the mouth of the cave, and stood there. A quiet voice asked, "So Elijah, now tell me, what are you doing here?" (MSG)

Every year, it's the same at Christmas. I make resolutions to shop less, buy less, sign up for less, bake less, wrap less, and eat less. (Sigh!)

I make resolutions to place Christ's birthday high on my priority list by reading my Bible more, singing more carols, praying more. (Sigh!)

Every year, I climb back on the same old treadmill. I set expectations that are too high for anyone, especially me!

This year, I have a new plan. Instead of "doing" myself to exhaustion, I have decided that "being" all that God wants me to be is a far better choice.

We try to pack more into Christmas than God ever intended! We spend our time on things like colour-matching bows to paper, making designer cookies, eating too much food, and giving too many gifts. (If three gifts were good enough for Mary's Son, Jesus, then three gifts are good enough for us.)

We won't hear God in the noise, bustle, and confusion that Christmas has become. Like Elijah, we will find Him in the still, quiet moments of our day.

Prayer: Father God, forgive us for putting new meaning to the original truth of Christmas. When we stumble and get caught up yet again in the frantic activity of the holiday, draw us apart for a moment. Help us to hear what You are saying to us. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Brenda Wood <brenda.w@nextcom.ca>
Sandycove Acres, Innisfil, Ontario, Canada

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