It is four o'clock in the morning on the sixth day of Christmas, and I am up - against my will and against my better judgment. I can't sleep, and I can't figure out why - but as I've been sitting here, reading, thinking, trying to get past my frustration, I have realized some things.
Christmas, as I've shared before, has always been my favorite time of year. Even before I truly understood the gift that this holiday is, there was something about the lights and the quietness and the colors and the smells and the hope (even on an ocean coast) of snow - that was simply magical. Mysterious. Right. It was special; it was different; it was something I waited for all year.
I was so hopeful this year that the magic and the mystery would still capture my soul - and it has, in moments, here and there. But the pervading sense of joy and peace and happiness that filled my soul on December 23rd has gotten lost somewhere in the craziness of the past few days. The rest of the world has moved on past Christmas, and to a degree, I feel like I've been moving on right along with it.
But I'm not of that world, and as I've come in the past half hour to realize all the ways in which I've forgotten that this week, I have made a decision. I refuse to be swept by that tide any longer. It is Christmastide yet, and it is only half over. There is still waiting and watching to be done. There is still worship to offer. Praise to bring.
And so here I am, at what is now almost five o'clock in the morning, watching and praying, enjoying the lights on my tree and a cup of chai, and thanking God that He's stopped me in my tracks for this moment. I am, at last, putting down all the things that have distracted me all week, and am instead kneeling in my heart beside a manger, in awe of the tiny, quiet, perfect miracle that was actually the beginning of the greatest thing that has ever happened in the whole world. The very Son of God was born - to us, the Scripture says.
To us. For us. With us.
He was here.
He is here.
...and He is coming back.
In this quiet moment, there is nothing more real or more true, and I am filled with gratitude and wonder.
Merry Christmas, friends.