Years ago a new “Night Before Christmas” poem circulated through emails (this was before blogs came upon the scene – can we even remember way back then???). That poem made a wonderful point about the busy-ness we face during Christmas time and the truth that it is often those same “Christmas” activities that drown out God’s call to keep Christmas focused on Jesus. No one knows who originally wrote the poem, but it has always stirred something within me. Several years ago, the Lord gave me some adaptations to make to it according to my own personal convictions, and continues to use it in my life year after year.
The Days before Christmas
Original author of the poem is unknown.
Adaptations were made by Jennifer Walker.
and he will give you everything you need.”
Mat. 6:33 (NLT)
That was supposed to be the end of this blog post. But as I was typing the last lines, a 2013 “this is my life now” version of the poem popped in my head.
Just a few more days until our first family gathering will take place here, two more days until the teacher gifts need to be finished and delivered, four more until the church gifts need to be finished and delivered, the house is a mess, not to mention that I never fully finished decorating my porch for Christmas. There are still remnants of fall holding their own next to the red and greenery… Ugggg…. I was SO WAY AHEAD… then life happened, and now I’m in continual catch-up mode. The one thing I have done right, by God’s grace alone, He has helped me come when He has called me, and I’ve sought and found Jesus during this Christmas season.
And He has been teaching me that eventually, one way or another, those gifts will be finished and be delivered to their recipients, meals will be prepared, the house will be cleaned up, and my porch will survive the war between simultaneous fall and Christmas decor. Those things will happen, in time, as the Lord helps me – even if it’s down to the last-minute. But those things aren’t the most important things about Christmas. HE is. The Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Prince of Peace is teaching me to focus on the promise that if I will seek Him first, and set my heart upon His advent, the other things of “Christmas” will either fall into place, or fall off the list.
I’m wondering if anyone else is in the same situation I’m in right now? If so I offer to you, fresh from my mind and heart, my 2013 Real-Life version of “The Night Before Christmas.”
The 2013 This is My Life One Week Before Christmas Version
‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through this house,
I’m stirring and hurrying like a wild little mouse…
The coffee is brewing, the tree lights are on.
I’m answering emails on computer and phone.
I thought in the fall that I’d be way ahead,
that gifts would be wrapped and stored under the bed.
But life rarely looks like it does in my dreams
And I’m always late and behind, so it seems.
So now here we are, with seven days till
the shopping and wrapping must stop and stand still.
What to do next? On which list should I start?
I’ve been meeting with Jesus, preparing my heart.
And as for the rest… He’s teaching me to say
if nothing looks perfect, it’s really OK.
With the help of the Lord, I’ll do what I can
and leave the rest of “Christmas” in His capable hand.
To cherish this moment, to embrace each new day,
to trust in the Lord and not question His way,
Is as sugar and cream to a black cup of joe –
The aroma of Jesus wherever I go.
Jennifer Crawford Walker Dec. 17, 2013
Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.
Don’t worry about missing out.
You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Matthew 6:33, MSG
Seeking and finding Jesus, and helping others in our lives to seek and find Him… If we could accomplish just this, then Christmas will be an eternal success. Much love to you all~