DayBreaks for 12/01/17: What to Value
From the DayBreaks archive, November 2007:
Can you believe it? Tomorrow is the first of December. I both hate and love this time of the year. I love the smells of Christmas – cookies, hot apple cider, turkey and pie. I love the sounds of Christmas – carols have always been among my favorite music – the laughter of children, the sound of friends greeting one another with “Merry Christmas!” I love the sights of the holidays – the colorful lights up and down the main street and on the homes in town, the decorations on the tree. I love the feel of Christmas – the cold nip in the air, the freshness and the feeling of warmth while bundled up in spite of the temperature outside, the fire in the hearth. What’s not to love?
Well, for ministers, this is a very, very busy time of the year. Each year, my wife and I say, “Let’s keep it simple this year.” We’re not talking about just our own Christmas, but also the Christmas that we will share with the congregation God has blessed us with. Yet, there are certain expectations – Christmas music, perhaps a skit or play, decorations, and the thing I dread perhaps more than any of the rest of it: putting together Christmas sermons! I don’t mind the shopping that much, but it is the busyness that floods over my soul, and so by the time the holidays are over, I’m worn out, worn down and flat.
It is enough to make one pause to reflect on what is really important.
It was reported that 11 millionaires went down on the Titanic. Major A. H. Peuchen left $300,000,000 in money, jewelry, and securities in a box in his cabin. “The money seemed a mockery at that time,” he later said. “I picked up 3 oranges instead.”
This year, I pray we will have the sense to pick up oranges – to stay focused on what is of value and what brings the peace and joy that we are to find in this season of remembrance. Let us value the Who of Christmas. Let us let go of other things that have so little value as to be meaningless in light of the coming of the One promised from the garden of Eden to take away our sins.
I know it’s rather early for a Christmas DayBreaks, but if you don’t enter into this month with firm conviction and principles about how you’ll live this month, you’ll likely find yourself right back in the same frantic rush – and perhaps miss the real Value.
PRAYER: Give us discerning hearts, dear Father, to do what is important and not do anything that has no real value, especially at this time of the year. Give us the wisdom to say “No” when we need to in order to stay focused on the things which really mean something! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.