The Chase versus the Gift

Lately I’ve had a case of the Bah Humbugs.  Normally, I’m like a little kid excitedly waiting for Christmas, which just can’t come fast enough.

It isn’t my disappointment with the economy or any personal setback.  Most frustrating to me is the attitude of your average Christmas shopper.  First getting into any shopping center is risking your life as cars roar through the aisles looking for that perfect parking place.  NASCAR race drivers have nothing on these folks.  Then there is the inevitable pushing and shoving to get inside the store.  Once inside, the focus becomes completing the gift chase – with little thought as to whose toes are mangled by the shopping cart.  Where is the peace on earth in the middle of this mayhem?

No matter what the excuse is for this behavior, it starts to wear me down.  My stomach did flip flops while watching the evening news coverage of one man actually rejoicing over his purchase of a high definition television.  I honestly thought at one moment, he was going to kiss the darn thing. Are material things really that important?

This afternoon while I was listening to Christmas carols, I sadly remembered there was no room at the inn for Jesus. Is my inn open for Him? It struck me that the more hurried we become at finding the perfect Christmas gift – at making the perfect Christmas – the less room we have for the real gift of Christmas, the baby Jesus.  Even good things, like finding the right color scarf for your aunt, can drown out His voice.

Inadvertently, I can crowd out Jesus by my choices.  The more I say no to excess, the less cluttered my life is. A frenzied holiday schedule can push Jesus away or lose Him in the shuffle.  I need stillness and peace to hear Him.  I don’t want to send away Jesus because I was too busy shopping, decorating or baking.  I want Him close by me.  I want to make more room for Him.

This Christmas fully appreciate the life-changing gift that was freely given.  Christmas is more than blinking lights, colorful ornaments and parties with friends.  It’s about what happened in the manager on a cold winter’s nights.  God’s promises fulfilled by a precious infant.

And so I ask you – What is more important? The chase or the gift?

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