The Circumstance that Matters Most

I freely confess it: Coming back to “normal life” after three weeks away has been difficult. More so than I anticipated.


For one, filling my days once again with the necessity of work has been challenging—having to squeeze the basics of living, from exercise to Christmas shopping to cleaning, into evenings and weekends.


For another, my life here at home is so much busier than the simplicity of life in my hometown. Church events, parties, tea with friends and holiday activities mark almost every day on my calendar. I’ve found myself stressed by busyness, upset by unmet expectations and disappointed with circumstances. How did I get back to this place so quickly? And how can I hope to rise above the clatter of everything that vies for my time, attention and emotion?


There’s only one way that I can think of, and that’s to ground myself in the love of Christ. The unchanging, unwavering, everlasting love that redeemed me and chose me to be His own. As I’ve fought to keep my head above the current these last two weeks, His whisper keeps nudging me: Let the circumstance that affects you most be My love.


To heed that whisper, I must stop and ask Him to fill me with a sense of His presence. I must receive His love so it motivates my actions and choices. Remain in His love so it anchors my spirit in peace when corporate ladder-climbers shake the rungs below them, when I’ve fought holiday traffic only to find that Target is out of the Christmas lights I needed for my tree, when I’m barraged with Christmas party invitations and haven’t had time to finish my shopping. When what I want to do most—write my blogs and my books—gets pushed to the bottom of the urgent to-do list.


This afternoon, during a Christmas rehearsal, before performances and after a very tiring week, I’m taking a few minutes to focus again on what really matters. To meditate on the whole point of Christmas: allowing my heart to be filled with the love of a God whose name is Emmanuel—God with us, the circumstance that truly affects me most.



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