Christmas is almost here!
The final push to shop, wrap, bake and put final touches on our celebrations has begun. As our days fill with hustle and bustle it can become a flurry of activity that transitions from fun to stressful. The saying of “making a list and checking it twice” applies to more than Santa’s naughty or nice list. The avalanche of preparation can threaten to snowball into a stress that gains momentum and threatens to overwhelm us.
There is a way to prevent this avalanche.
Pause to Praise!
Think of the responses of both Elizabeth and Mary in the first chapter of Luke when they are told of the sons to whom they will give birth. While initially they don’t understand and wonder how it can be we are told of their praise to God for the gifts they are given and the choice He has made to use them as His instruments.
Elizabeth – ‘The Lord has done this for me,’ she said. ‘In these days he has shown His favor and taken away
my disgrace among the people.’ Matthew 1:25
Mary – My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is His name. Luke 1:46-49
Both of these women had a lot to process and people to tell of their news. They could have gone about their preparations and set aside the blessing from the Lord. But they paused to praise.
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year but it is only a season. It may seem to not be a big deal to set aside our quiet time for a few days. We might think we are too tired to get up early after late nights of preparations. Or we might think a quick prayer in the car will suffice during our rush to finish our shopping. God won’t stop loving us if we make these choices but He also won’t be able to assist us if we don’t spend time praising Him and enlisting the Lord’s help prioritizing and accomplishing things on our lists.
Intentionally pushing the pause button and choosing to praise God in the midst of the flurry of activity helps to press the reset button and bring perspective that all the things and activities are not as important as touching lives and blessing others.
Please take some time to pause – today and every day until Christmas. Pause to pray, to reflect and praise God.
And be blessed.