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Gasp

Last year I breathed a sigh of relief after we took down the Christmas decorations. To be honest with you, it is easy for me to lose perspective during the Christmas season. For me it isn't the commercialism that is the issue. In my family, we settled that issue years ago. Yes, we spend money like everybody else, but we try to be moderate in our spending. We don't engage in spending competitions or confuse how much we spend on someone with how much we love them. Our rule of thumb is simple: we don't put more on our credit cards than we can pay off when the bill arrives.

But even after settling the commercialism issue, something remains that gets in my way some years, and definitely got in my way last year. Busyness. Christmas is a very busy season. The shopping takes time and so does Church and work activities. Some years we go to half dozen parties or more. Each of them important, but each of them take time. Add to those demands the time it takes to honor family traditions and it can be overwhelming.

It reminds me a bit of the first time I bit into a chocolate Easter bunny and discovered that it was hollow. It looked thick, but the chocolate was only a thin veneer covering the emptiness. After the sigh last year, I felt empty. I felt like I'd wasted a remarkable opportunity to draw nearer to God and marinate in His grace. In that moment, I resolved not to waste this Christmas on endless activity. Oh, I doubt if my schedule changes any--that's not the point. It is how I choose to approach the activities. Instead of checking them off my to do list, I'm going to relish every moment and rediscover the awe in the season-to replace a sigh of relief with a gasp of discovery.

God became man to bring salvation to the world. 

Luke 2:10 NIV "But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."

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