Follow Your Star

Christmas Journey.jpg

This week our Advent Book Study groups were focusing on a story about a young man who lived in a wooded area along the shore. He longed for the day that a boat would come along and sail him away on a great adventure. He would drive others crazy always looking to the horizon, longing to be anywhere but here. Only after years of doing this did he look at the trees and begin to see the hull of a ship right in front of him. His boat had been right there in the trees all along. He had just looked passed it.

This leads me to ask you, what people or things in your life are you missing because you are looking passed distracted by something else? How often are we guilty of getting caught up in our cell phones, iPads, or computers? We can spend an entire evening staring at our devices. Maybe TV is your Achilles heel? Sports? Even reading books can cause some to "check out" and escape into a fantasy world.

Of course these things are not all bad. Cell phones have put the entire internet in our pocket. And who would want to tell someone to stop reading books? We all need the occasional opportunity to escape from the stress of the world around us by indulging in a favorite TV show. But all things in moderation. We can take escaping too far and fail to live our lives. We can miss the blessings that are right in front of us.

During the holiday season, sales and social calendars can start to run us, making us long to simply check out...saying things like, "A few more weeks, and things can just go back to normal." This temptation to check out is an important reason to remember that Advent spiritual practice calls us to slow down intentionally, reflect, and wait for the arrival of the Christ-child. I encourage you to make deliberate effort to strike a good balance this Christmas season. I hope you are able to find time to really enjoy friends and family while also making some space for yourself to quietly sit at home and simply enjoy the twinkle of the lights on the Christmas tree. This is truly a holy season. I pray you are able to see all the opportunities to live it this year.