I've mentioned before that I’m a M*A*S*H nut. I own the whole series on DVD and have been known to watch through all eleven seasons more times than I can count or would like to admit. Today as I was considering what to write, I had it on in the background and heard a particularly inspiring message that seemed to put my whole week into perspective.
Father Mulcahy, one of the characters on the show, was addressing a crowd of people saying, "I want to tell you about two men—each facing his own crisis. The first man you know rather well. (He was referring to himself.) The second is a patient here. Well the first man thought he was facing a crisis. But what he was really doing was trying to impress someone. He was looking for recognition, encouragement, a pat on the back. And then whenever that recognition seemed threatened, he reacted rather childishly, blamed everyone for his problems but himself because he was thinking only of himself. But the second man was confronted by the greatest crisis mortal man can face—the loss of his life. I think you'll agree that the second man had every right to be selfish but instead he chose to think not of himself, but of a brother—a brother! And when the first man saw the dignity and selflessness of the second man, he realized how petty and selfish he had...I...I...I had been! It made me see something more clearly than I've ever seen it before. God didn't put us here for that pat on the back. He created us so he could be here himself. So that he could exist in the lives of those he created in his image."
Amidst the chaos that can sometimes be my life, especially around the holidays, I too often get caught up in my own schedule, in my own tiny priorities. I'm so busy looking at the details of my life on those days that I'm missing the whole picture of my life in the rush to catch up so I can relax later. This past week could have been about so much more than a list of things I needed to do before the office closed for the holiday, or the annual stuffing of the faces on Thanksgiving Day, or crossing off every item on my "to get" list during our family's "Girls-Only Black Friday" shopping trip. The Thanksgiving holiday is meant to call my attention to the abundance of blessings in my life, to give me the opportunity to share those blessings with others, and a reminder to praise the God who created me and blessed me with life, salvation, love, family, home, health, food, and so many other things I took for granted this week as I attended to the details.
In just a few weeks, we will be celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus and I want to do a better job of preparing for it. Yes, I will be rushing around again, trying to get things doen in the coming weeks - it's the nature of my responsibilities. But I hope to do a better job of making myself available for God to share himself through me with the world around me. I want to be more intentional and tenacious about setting aside time to rest and rejoice in his Presence throughout the days and weeks to come. I want to seek his will over my to-do list. I hope to prepare not just the trappings of the approaching holiday, but also my heart and mind to welcome and worship my Savior on Christmas Day. I hope you will consider joining me.
I'm fallen on my knees
desperate for Your embrace.
I'm giving You my heart, Lord.
I'm clinging to Your grace.
(From my poem "Clinging to Grace")