At this time of year, I love to sit in the dark. Well, not the dark, exactly. I turn the Christmas tree on, turn off the lights and simply enjoy the glow.
I know that Christmas trees don't really have anything to do with Jesus' birth. They're a pagan tradition that we have co-opted for our Christmas celebrations. But I find that when I turn out the lights and turn on the tree, I'm able to really focus on what that baby in a manger means. I can quiet my heart, enjoy the beauty of my tree and draw near to the throne of God.
Maybe it's the quiet. Maybe it's the darkness. Maybe it's the lights shining in the darkness. I don't know, but during this busy season every year there's something about sitting quietly next to my tree as it's bulbs shine light into the darkness that allows my heart to quiet, that lets the to-do list fall to the wayside, that lets my brain take a rest, and that lets me simply be.
Those stolen moments in the darkness beside the tree let me be still. They let me focus on Jesus. They give my heart rest, and they refresh my soul. Because Christmas shouldn't always be about the doing. It shouldn't always be about the next party, the next gift, the next children's choir performance.
It should be about a baby. In a manger. On a starry night. So long ago.
It should be about a child. Who came to save the world.
It should be about angels singing. Shepherds quaking. A king being worshiped.
It's the quiet moments beside the Christmas tree that let me focus on what Christmas is about. It's those silent moments that allow me to fill up my soul with the God's perfect love. It's those moments in the darkness that let my soul feel its worth.
And it's those moments that let me help my family focus on Jesus during this busiest time of the year. No matter how much I want to keep my kids focused on Jesus this holiday season, I can't do that without turning my own heart to him. I can't change their focus if I don't change my own.
Christmas is less than two weeks away. If you're so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season that you've lost sight of the manger, find the moments that refresh your soul, the moments that bring you to the throne of God in awe of what He did on that Christmas night so long ago. Whether it's sitting in the dark watching your Christmas tree shine its light, listening to your favorite Christmas carols or taking a quiet moment with a cup of tea or coffee, find the moments that let you focus on Jesus so that you can help your families do the same.