“I hate to feel this way about the holidays,” a friend recently said to me, “but I wish it was over.”
I admit to struggling with this tension too. Sometimes, it seems like no matter how hard I try to make space for quiet reflection during this holy season, the unbridled chaos and consumerism of the modern American Christmas sweeps me away.
One morning this week as I sat by the Christmas tree, I was thinking about the importance of stillness at Christmas as Richard Rohr’s words of wisdom rattled around in my head.
Listen to what he said about Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel’s announcement that she would give birth to the Messiah-
“In the obedience of faith, we do something because it is true at a deeper level, we feel called at a deeper level perhaps, and not because it immediately works, makes sense, or shows likelihood of ‘success.’”
My first thought when I read this, apart from how true it is, is that the catch is finding enough quiet, sufficient stillness, to hear God’s “deeper calls.” We are so often unaccustomed to making space for God, especially at Christmas.
If my cancer journey over this past year hast taught me anything about God, it is this – He moves in completely unexpected ways, far beyond anything of which our limited imaginations can conceive. This is why quiet, stillness, is not an indulgence, it is essential. Without it, we might make the mistake of assuming the frenzied thoughts running around in our own heads are the voice of God.
So, find a way today to hit the pause button, even if you have to fight for it. God is waiting for you in the stillness.