This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Today begins a stretch of family time for me. My parents arrive today for a three week visit. By the end of the week, my family will arrive for the week of Christmas. This is a time we have been looking forward to and anticipating for a long time. And we all know what will happen; it will be over all too quickly. We spend months anticipating a special time and, when it comes, it flies by.
Have you ever been in a hurry to get somewhere, and when you got there, you missed your turn because you didn’t slow down? I think that is the way we often live our lives. We are in such a hurry to get to the next thing that we fly by the present. We miss the joy of the moment because we don’t know how to slow down.
Mary and Martha were good friends of Jesus. Although we don’t have many details, it seems that Jesus visited their home often. On one particular occasion, Martha got so caught up preparing for Jesus’ visit that she missed it.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:38-42
Although we would like to think that we are like Mary, we are much more like Martha. We tend to get caught up in the details of life, only to miss the joy of life. We spend much time preparing and little time enjoying. That is especially true during the Christmas season.
In a broader sense, Jesus addressed our frantic lives in Matthew 6:31-34. So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
The challenge that we all face is to prepare for the future, but to live in the moment. Even as we prepare for some big event, we can slow down and enjoy the process of getting ready. When the event comes, we can slow down and savor the joy of the moment. And in everything, we can praise God for the gift He is giving to us right then.
There will be many amazing moments in the weeks ahead. Don’t be in such a hurry that you miss them.