Holidays are a chance for us to put our convictions to the test, do I really believe less is more, relationships are king and trips to church are more important than trips to Target? Do I talk to this baby king as much as I sing about him this season? Am I careful with my spending and my caloric intake and my attitude?
My only hope this season, (to hold on to my sanity, to maintain my testimony in front of my kids, to experience ‘peace on earth, goodwill towards men’), is to rest.
Rest ? When there are cookies to bake and cards to address and lists and lists and lists?
“Are you tired? Worn out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
Doesn’t reading that already make you breathe easier? I am thinking of spelling it out in lights this month in front of my house. God, with all his perspective, has written a daily rhythm we can listen for and sing along to, accessible to us any month of the year. Some days, the rhythm picks up a bit and you move fast, other days, it’s slow and sweet. The only way you can fold into the day’s rhythm is by listening to the one who has ‘written every day before they came to be (Psalm 139).’
This season isn’t something to be balanced or managed, it’s to be enjoyed, in the presence of the One who won’t put anything ill-fitting on you. My usual holiday strategy makes me think I am in control. I am checking boxes, I am managing time, I am developing, controlling, managing. Rest maintains a posture of listening, discernment, and being Spirit-led.
I am not perfect at this. With a houseful of children and a full-time job, I have a lot of plates spinning in the air, but that is all the more reason for me to listen this particularly special month to the One who promises if I keep company with him, I ‘will learn to live freely and lightly.’