Posted on : Wednesday December 9, 2009
Bob Simpson

Bob Simpson

By Bob Simpson, BCMD Associate Executive Director and Editor of BaptistLIFE

In his latest book, A Simple Christmas, former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, talks about Christmas being a natural transition. He says, “Christmas is, in many ways, a milestone that marks various parts of our year. We will put things off ‘until after Christmas’ or commit to get something done ‘before Christmas.’ Christmas is also the time when you catch up with many people in your life – family, friends, neighbors – whom you might not have spoken to in a while. It’s a time to reflect on life – what you’re doing, what you’ve done, and what you hope to do.”

For me the time of reflection will have to wait. I have been so busy this Fall that I have actually said, “I can’t wait for Christmas to be here!” When I say it, I am immediately reminded of my Mom’s admonition to me a child not to “wish my life away.” I know in my heart she was right. But my present reality flies in the face of her wisdom.

Let me explain. Here at our office we have been renovating part of the building and preparing to move our support staff over to that newly renovated part. It is a messy, dirty, trying process. I literally can’t wait for it to be over. Some have equated it to being pulled through a knothole! Everywhere you walk there is fresh paint and drywall dust. Each new day brings more change and revision to initial plans. There are thousands of details and little time to keep them sorted out. Though all was carefully planned for, most days it feels like things are out of control.

How I would love to blink and it would be Christmas. I’m sure that Mary must have felt this way as she and Joseph made their way from Nazareth to Bethlehem on the back of a donkey. She must have felt that things were not working out like she had planned. Even their overnight accommodations that first Christmas night were not exactly what she had imagined for her son. But it marked the beginning of some very exciting days to come. First the shepherds came. Then there was the appearance of the star over the stable. After that the Magi came. And the miracle of her newborn son was the icing on the cake. And the Bible says that Mary “kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

Everything in me wants to press “fast forward” and move past the next several weeks until Christmas. But I am beginning to feel like I need to hang in there and ponder it all as it happens. To miss the lessons of the journey as they unfold would be tragic. The best things in life come when we don’t rush through them. So I am learning to “ponder” the present. It is something I haven’t always done well, but I am committed to doing it this year! Why not join me?