Christmas Chaos Calmed By 4 Words…

In the early six am hour, I stumble from my bed.  And my very first priority is to, with eyes half open – and long drawn out yawn, stand before the coffeepot with cup impatiently in hand.

Yesterday still reverberates and echos loudly in my ears, but I must be prepared for the onslaught that is this new day.  What can I expect from this new one?  Perhaps more hectic phone calls of fires I must put out?  Most likely more kettle money to count, as well as a host of other public appearances…the day will eventually join all other days, which slowly blends and bleeds together becoming a cacophony of noise, fast driving, and not enough hours to complete every. single. task.  It (my day) can become quite frustrating.
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At the end of the day…

It is in the late night hour, when the lights have been extinguished, and the sounds of exhausted snores begin again, that I wonder if THIS is what I have signed up for?  The restlessness, the anxiety, the stress, the responsibilities, the burden that they (whoever “they” are) has called the “mantle of leadership”.  Is it worth it?
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For I am drawn to the unfinished homework down the hall that my child needed my help on.  That growing stack of dirty dishes, now elbow-high in the sink.  The Mount Everest sized heap of laundry, a mix of colors and whites all blending together in some stained and stinky gym-socked odors that still remain downstairs- largely ignored.  “T’is” the season” we say (laughing it off), as we run out the door having not eaten as much as we should and hoping we can spend more time with our children today than we did yesterday…or the day before that.

These are the things that guilt my slumber…but still I sleep (and snore), only to repeat the same maddening schedule all over again the next day, “Dear Lord, please either return today or make Christmas Eve speed up in my direction” I breathlessly, and continuously pray.  This has become my mantra, my hope to cling to, my “light at the end of the tunnel” (which happens to sound a lot like the ringing of bells and the clanging of loose change from a crimson bucket).

I keep telling myself that this makes a difference, that what we do in these restless weeks matters, but it offers little comfort when fielding that phone call from an irate store manager, or a raging parent unsatisfied with the toys that we have to offer them (while we always put our best foot forward)…The mantra “We make a difference” is even a cold comfort when having to terminate another ringer for having sticky fingers and blatantly lying about it even when managers and customers have witnessed it a time or two.

Are we making a difference?
Am I making a difference?
Did I sign up for this?
Is this what God has asked us to do?
Better yet, am I really giving my all to God in the places and spaces that matter most?

And that’s when it hits me…
I have been going about this all wrong…
What is “this” you ask?

My attitude…
My motivation…
My determination…
My gifts and abilities…
ALL “MY”s….

But there are days when I must get away and recharge…
there are days when I must reconnect with the family…
there are days when priorities and responsibilities of ‘self’ wins out.

But here…
In this moment-
I feel the Holy Spirit breathe into me four simple words that strike the cord of truth deep within me.  It lays to waste all of my hesitations, temptations, guilt and fears.  It puts everything back together again.  It restores my faith in humanity even after getting burned SO. MANY. TIMES…

He whispers those words into my busy day.
He whispers them into my chaotic heart and mind.
He whispers them and though the bell ringing continues, and the change from crimson buckets still falls, I find some clarity and solitude.  (How ironic is that?!)

What are the four words you ask?
Perhaps it is something for all of us and all of our furious paced lives right now…

The words?

Thy Will Be Done…

Are you feeling the Christmas chaos yet?
Have you asked similar questions?
Do you feel the guilt of a crazy paced life right now?
You’re not alone!!

A Prayer We Can All Pray: 
Lord, I want to be your servant today.
You know that I feel betrayed at times by those around me.
You know that I feel cheated out of a calmer life sometimes.
You understand the chaotic mess that is my life right now.
I pray your silent strength and shielded hope would surround me.
I pray you would increase as I decrease in all of these efforts today.
Grant me your strength and discernment for the tasks at hand.
Lead me Lord into Thy will.
-Amen.

Something more to ponder today!
By the way….you got this!
God Bless you!

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3 Comments

  1. As I reached 79 this year I remember the words of my Grandmother telling me, you either have too much to do or (as we get older) not enough. She and my parents always were too busy with TSA at Christmas. Dad delivered food and toys on Christmas Eve sometimes until midnight but we were happy and believe God wanted us to do that. I still believe that and our rewards are great from our Almighty God. Thank you.

  2. As bellringers gather each morning for “the daily meeting”, I always include in my prayer over them, “Lord, when this day is done, give us to know that we have done a good thing!”

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