Here We Go
If there is one word that gets us in trouble near Christmas time, it is the word “expectation.”
My wife and I have just moved near family for the first time in our lives as parents. We’ve always talked about it and dreamt about it, and here it is. It’s been great already and we have several family gatherings planned. However, we have to be careful as to not let the expectations of this fact overshadow the reality. We can’t expect everyone to change their normal holiday plans to fit this fact/
As a pastor, I must check myself as to not be expectant of every person who shows up for Advent, special Advent programs, or Christmas Eve services to be present on regular Sundays. I get that people aren’t church shopping on Christmas Eve.
As a father, I can’t expect my children to act a certain way at Christmas or to have the same joyous wonder in their eyes that are shown in Coca Cola or Target commercials. I can’t even expect them to have the same response as last year.
And as a child of God, I have to be careful as to not expect too much from myself. With Christmas comes a week of vacation and with vacation comes reflection. Couple that with the New Year’s resolutions that always entrap me and I have to be careful as to not get top-heavy. Top-heaviness can lead to unnecessary stress the rest of the year. If I try to say, read-the-entire Bible in a year and I get all the way to say Deuteronomy in the first 4 weeks but can’t get through it, I’m more likely to hang it up than keep going. If I try to lose a lot of weight but fall off the wagon around Valentines’ Day, it’s harder to get back on. I’ve got to know to pace myself. I’ve got to learn my limits. I’ve got to understand my schedule.
So, if I have any piece of advice for this time of year, it is the writer of the 46th Psalm who reminds us to be still and know that God is God. Sometimes, I don’t know which is harder. The being still or the relinquishing control to the one who is God. Regardless, to service the expectations from ourselves and from culture, both have to be done.
My hope is to share some of my thoughts and ramblings with this church and whoever else wants to read this blog. I hope to update it weekly if not more.