As you may have noticed, the LORD is always dealing with me. One recent theme entails “trimming the fat” of unnecessary busyness in my life. That is to say, doing only what the LORD calls me to do and resisting distractions, no matter how “good” they appear to be. In other words, He’s teaching me to be fully and exclusively devoted to Him and His purposes.
Over the past few years God has given me the opportunity to apply this theme of “trimming the fat” to the Christmas season as well because during this time of year I have often found my heart cringing in anticipation of the seasonal onslaught. You see, to me the “holiday” season is more like the “Martha” season: rushing, shopping, decorations, baking, crowded stores, blinking lights, ringing bells, etc. The overabundance of attractions, distractions, busyness, stress and fanciful chaos leaves me feeling overwhelmed and a little heart-sick.
“Lord,” I pray, “It’s CHRISTmas! What has happened to you? You’ve been replaced with a three-ring circus!” Now, it’s not that I don’t enjoy taking part in holiday activities, it’s just that to me amidst the chaos, the focus of the season seems so easily lost.
Baby Jesus gets overlooked during Christmas because He can’t compete with the sensationalism of Santa Claus and consumerism. Furthermore, Jesus is often disallowed for being politically incorrect. Oh, brother. Now I can see the world falling for such nonsense, but not those whose hearts have been intimately interwoven with His. The world might have taken the LORD out of the Christmas season but it can’t take Him out of our hearts!
I long to experience a Christmas season void of the dilution of Christ and pollution of the world’s influence. I long to experience a Christmas season fully appreciating the birth of Jesus. Every year I get a little closer to that ideal.
The LORD is showing me how to turn the traditional “Martha” season, full of busyness, distractions and stress, into the “Mary” season, full of stillness, focus and peace (Luke 10:38-42).
“LORD,” I ask, “How would YOU have us celebrate Your lowly debut into a sin-sick world? -a day that birthed a change in the course of history and the fate of mankind! Please, take this season, as You have my life, and lead me to do only that which You would deem worthy of honoring You.”
So, as the Master continues to show me Godly alternatives to unnecessary worldly tradition and how to trim the “fat” of busyness during the season, I am so thankful for His insight and blessing.
In rebellion against the busy “Martha” season, I am glad to decline her invitation to busyness and instead, worship and adore the LORD in my spirit moment by moment as He leads me…while the holiday madness rages on.
(Taken from a church newsletter article I wrote in 1997)
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”