Have you ever started out the holiday season thinking, "This year I'm going to focus on the real meaning of Christmas. I'm going to put Jesus in the center Christmas. I'm not going to get caught up in the craziness." If you have, you're not the only one! We usually start the season off with the best intentions to keep things simple and centered on Him, but in no time at all our calendars are full and our wallets are empty. We all want to create the perfect image with the family snuggled up in front of the fireplace listening to Christmas carols while gazing at the beautiful tree, but that isn't always the reality. Too often we are short-tempered and overwhelmed with all that we need to accomplish. We have our list of Chistmas presents to purchase and wrap. Christmas cards are waiting to be addressed and mailed, parties need to be booked, menus need planning, Christmas baking needs to be done, and don't forget about all the Christmas decorations waiting to be put up! Before we know it, Christmas Day has come and gone, and we find ourselves feeling empty, like something (or Someone) was missing. It doesn't have to be that way this Christmas! We can have a busy schedule, but we can still keep Christ in the center of all of the festivities. Jesus had a busy schedule, too. He went about preaching, healing the sick, raising the dead, praying, and teaching multitudes of people. However, He always stayed focused on the Heavenly Father. We can do something that Jesus did to help keep us focused this Christmas season. What is it? PRAY!!! That may sound too simple, but it's what Jesus did.
Luke 5:16 "And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed..."
Jesus went into the wilderness so that He would not be distracted or disturbed. We, too, need to find a quiet place to seek the Lord.
At Christmas we are heavily bombarded with commercialism and keeping up with everyone around us. We need time away from all of that. I don't mean that we are to shirk our responsibilities, but we do need to "decompress." Just a quick 2 minute prayer each day isn't going to get the job done! We must schedule time to spend in prayer and the Word. If we do that, we will find that the Lord is in the center of all we do because our minds will be on Him throughout the day.
Matthew 14:23 "And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone."
I Peter 3:12a "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers..."
Do you realize that if you are a child of God, His eyes are on you? He is waiting for us to come to Him with everything. He knows what lies just around the corner, and He is ready to fill our cup to overflowing. He hears our prayers! He will give us wisdom and peace when we seek Him. I really need His guidance if I am to accomplish everything on my "To-Do" list! Let me challenge you, especially during this extra-busy time of year, to set aside time each day for the Lord and Him alone! When Jesus is the center of your day, you will never be disappointed. He will give you the perspective you need to keep Him the center of it all this holiday season.