The Needs of the Season

I was driving down the road going to another appointment. Since I was by myself I was able to have Christian and Christmas music playing loudly. While in this time of being by myself I was able to sing as loud and as off key as I wanted, which made me as happy as I could be while driving down icy roads. After a particularly fast and quirky Christmas song Amy Grant’s ” I need a Silent Night” came on the radio. The first two verses had me tuned in and quiet as she sang:

I’ve made the same mistake before
Too many malls, too many stores
December traffic, Christmas rush
It breaks me till I push and shove

Children are crying while mothers are trying
To photograph Santa and sleigh
The shopping and buying and standing forever in line
What can I say?

It was like she was sitting there next to me singing to me about my Christmas season. There is this inherent rush to get things done once December 1st hits. If you add in work, kids and whole bunch other things life likes to throw at you it can be so overwhelming it can make a person scream. Her chorus hits it on the mark:

I need a silent night, a holy night
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here
To end this crazy day with a silent night

This past weekend I just had to ask that my son and my husband not continue to play the games they play on their Ipads that cause them to get agitated. I had to stop my middle child and my youngest from being mean to each other because one is hungry and the other is “being annoying” I needed a silent night. Not just one in which I am cuddled into a blanket to read, but one that would draw me back to the father. I needed a silent space in which the Holy Spirit could wash over me to make it be a holy night. In the Bible when David was waiting on the Lord’s voice he expected in the loudness of thunder or the shaking of the earth, what he got instead was the quiet whisper of the wind. A friend of mine posted a quote that basically said it’s great to be in the light but by enduring the darkness you can find joy in the stars of a midnight clear.

On the night in which the angel’s light erupted into the midnight clear the shepherds were being lulled to sleep by the gentle sounds of their sheep. There was no fighting for the last toy on the shelf, but there was the uncertainty of the safety of their flock. The angels may have been rejoicing over the birth of the newborn King but they would have to hold back in the battlefield as they watch their King become a helpless human destined to die on a tree. Mary and Joseph were young and also very new to being parents, and not only parents but responsible for raising the Lord of the Universe. When Christ was born the stresses of that time were different but that didn’t mean they didn’t need what we crave today. A silent night that brings peace so that we can have a holy night that will lead us to the foot of the cross where the baby Jesus would be sacrificed for us because God loves us so much he sent Jesus to earth to save all of mankind.

“I need a Silent Night, a holy night so that instead of noise being heard I hear the whisper of love as it is wrapped around my bruised and stressed out heart. “I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here” is the battle-cry of my soul as I cling to the joy that is there but has been covered over by the worry and frustrations of the world. I can’t say that the crazy days will ever be gone, that the curiosities of my kids won’t make me still shake my head. I can’t deny there are things that make me feel as if the world has just gone off it’s axel, and it’s in these moments when the silent night and the soft cooing of the baby lying in the manger make it all bearable. Christmas is the need to know that so many years ago a baby was born in a stable and wrapped in clothe, found lying in a manger by shepherds in a nearby field. Christmas is the need to know that angels erupted in the sky to rejoice in the newborn King and that wisemen travelled miles and miles to find the baby under the star. Christmas is the need to know that because of all of this Jesus was born, and He lived and died for me because He loved me. These are the needs of the season. Until next time:

You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, causing you to spill your coffee everywhere. Why did you spill the coffee? “Because someone bumped into me!!” Nope.

You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.

Whatever is inside of the cup will spill out

So…when life shakes you (and it will), whatever is inside you will come out. The big question is…what’s in MY cup? When life gets tough, what spills over? Joy, appreciation, love, acceptance? Hostility, anger, judgement, harsh words and exhaustion? Life provides the cup, YOU choose how to fill it.

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