I was lying in bed last night thinking, like i usually do when i lie in bed. Rob was upset over having to buy 4 new tires for the van at such a financially difficult time of year, so he had already gone up to bed, to forget about it for a few hours. Strangely enough, i didn't seem bummed over parting with several hundred dollars just like that. . it'll probably hit me later!!
I was more reflective, not too sleepy. I've been caught up in preparations for Christmas gifting and feasting -- organizing things with drill sargeant precision -- which has paid off in dividends of a type of serenity, a sense of 'staying on top of things' and not feeling pressurized, wheedled, nagged or otherwise manipulated by the monstrous retail advertising/marketing machine. . I even learned to try to say 'no' to the 'busy woman at Christmas voice' which expects me to multitask to the extreme in every way imaginable. If you're a man, let me explain things. . 'the voice' is essential for every woman, especially at Christmas. . The voice can be a helpful reminder : ' make your lists', 'start early', 'try catalogues/ online sources', 'get to the store the day the flyer comes out', ' 'think of your people and of what they've told you throughout the year.. . write these thoughts down & keep them in your wallet', 'stay on top of your house work so you're not overwhelmed', 'ask for help', 'think of the Christmas donations and take care of them'. The voice will talk to you when you're quiet. . asking you "Have you taken care of all the details?", "What's left to do?", "What are you going to do tomorrow?" This is what its like.
So, when i lie down every night, i have to tell the voice to stop. . it would keep me up if i let it. Sometimes i think back to my girlish, prewoman days, especially at Christmas time and i imagine how it would feel to just to take everything as it comes to me, gifts, food, every other kind of good thing. . not doing, not preparing, just receiving. . . ahhh. . . what a dim memory !!!
Is that what its like to be a man at Christmas?! BAH!!! *sorry to take a potshot at you, guys!* I'm half teasing, i think?! heh heh. . .
Last night i thought about all this stuff as i sighed it all out . . . and then i thought about Jesus. I immediately felt bad for letting my inner voice drown out his voice - which is not just a Christmas time occurrence. . I felt even worse about letting myself be a cog in the "North American Christmas Machine". . i try to resist, but to some extent i always find myself in it.
I looked out the windows as i lay there. . the darkness was quiet, almost felt like it had weight. . . i could see the heavy clouds' outline against the dark sky. . . and my thoughts of him increased. I wondered about him and wondered how could he do what he did? -- trade universal supremacy for helpless infancy? volunteer to give up unbounded, unlimited authority. . . for hunger, pain, sickness, fatigue, limitations, unjust punishment, hatred and execution? How is it possible that he was able to say 'yes' to such a deal?( knowing in advance what would be required of him? ) and with no guarantee that the very people He did this for would love him, like him or regard him? I wondered about my human nature. . what was it about that nature that Jesus needed to go through all that? Why am i so self-centered? why am i so rebellious. . either subtly or bold facedly? Why am i bad? Why do i think i know so much? It occurred to me that on my own, without any Christ, any Redeemer or Messiah, without the manger crib and its famous baby occupant and without all that he grew to accomplish, who am i? Why do i aspire to be this or do that? Why am i so hell bent on charting my own path, doing my own thing? Why have i wanted to live without Jesus? Why have i ever in my entire life wanted to keep Christmas about everything but Christ? toys. . candy, the Sears WishBook, clothes, trinkets, money, overeating, watching the grinch, rudolph, frosty. . obsessing about being 'good' so Santa would come through with the goods. . and now the whole attempting to pulling off a Martha Stewart every year if it kills me! When i'm quiet with my mind turned off to all fruitcake, cheesy music and rampant consumption, and on this curious kind of love shown by Jesus, this puzzling, dazzling love . . . i feel like i've been in a mess of my own independence . I am an independent mess. . too often choosing independence from the Saviour who loves me to the point of death, independent from his extended hand, independent from his counsel, substituting mine, the world's. . . independent from his will. . . believing that i can drift in and out of it whenever the whim suits me. . . how can i make such a mess? be such a mess? I can and I do and i often am . and i'm ashamed when that happens. I love moments like this when i understand a bit of the largeness of the love of Christ. I feel like my own love that i feel and give is so often small and too often tainted with selfish toxins and impurities. . but to think of availing myself of the LOVE of Jesus at Christmas, I feel like i can only say to him. . words from that old Sam and Dave song: "You didn't have to love me like you did, but you did, yes you did, and i thank you." I wish for you some of your own reflective moments in the next couple of days. . much love to you, from me. .