My front yard looks like a boneless chicken ranch during the day. Little mounds of color lie heaped on the lawn still, lifeless and begging for CPR. Perhaps I have a few too many inflatable yard decorations; some that sort of scream “Christmas!” plus one blow-up nativity scene.
I really grappled with that one in the store when I bought it last year. Am I insulting Christians everywhere with my plug-in nativity? I thought. It’s a definite conflict of interest for me to stick a Santa Claus on my lawn, and my nativity scene options were very limited.
It’s kind of cool watching Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus and the 3 wise men all spring into action at the flip of the power strip. But honestly, my heart sinks a bit when I have to pull the plug each night before going to bed only to watch them all crumble and give in to gravity.
So, when I went out last night to unplug the yard, I stood in my robe and slippers thinking how easy it is to feel a little deflated this time of year when our emotions are a little more acute than normal.
Played against the backdrop of Christmases past and the expectations of ones yet to come, we try to keep a handle on our time, our finances, our moods and our waist line! We vow not to let ourselves get run down, used up, overextended, affected by hurtful comments, and the list goes on. From every angle we’re reminded of the importance of keeping Christ in the season and to “follow” Him.
But…what does it really mean to follow Jesus not only through this season, but all year long?
I think it means when the worry creeps in, and the sadness overwhelms, before the harsh words are spoken, or the anger snaps its sharp teeth, or when our dark days seem to run together in an endless strand, we stop and recognize the giver of such things and learn to reject all that is not of our God. When we refuse to fall into the chaos of the enemy and choose instead to take that deep breath, we fill our lungs with the power of the One who breathed life into us right from the start. We turn to the scriptures because they heal and guide and comfort. They remind us of the peace only found in Him…the peace available to us all if only we would ask…sort of like flipping the switch.