While Amy Grant sings,
“I need a silent night, a holy night
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here
To end this crazy day with a silent night,”
…I am driving to work. The rain is falling in gentle sheets and the clouds lay low over the city. My windshield sparkles like Christmas lights, reflecting the headlights of oncoming cars in the rain drops. It’s been a crazy week, and as we near 2017, I can say that 2016 has been hard. A mixed bag of blessings and the death of our dog.
My husband and I have had many conversations in 2016 that sometimes go deep into the night, discussing ministry, being a husband to a missionary, and accepting that, from this point on, nothing will ever be the same. 2016 changed both of us, and I am glad to say, we are growing together as we embrace this new future. As I drive to work, I look over to my left through the wet drivers-side window.
Predawn light hits the low clouds, making a beautiful mixture of pearl gray and dark gray shapes hovering above the casino.
“Thank you, Lord,” I whisper as I focus again on the road. A friend told my husband to take in new experiences, breathe, and remember. Close your eyes, smell the smells, experience and feel the moment you are in. An Andy Andrews webinar said to notice the little things in your life, like the beauty of those clouds and the different shades of gray marked by the glimmer of dawn.
“To end this crazy day with a silent night,” One of the song lyrics say. Silence is overlooked. Being still is almost forgotten. My cat has the being still thing down.
As I make the left turn down a dark side street, I recall him sitting on the arm of our easy chair last weekend, mesmerized by the lights of the tree. He stood there for ten minutes, not moving, being still.
Then, he made me laugh when his little white paw carefully came toward a dangling bulb. Even he has his limits.
This and next week is the deep calm before the rush. As I pull into a parking place and shut off the engine, I look towards my work place. My ministry ends the moment I walk into work and begins again when I go to lunch, when I leave to go home, and when the weekend comes. Investing in online relationships to develop them into something meaningful is time consuming. There’s an urgency here. The church is behind in the digital age. Much work has to be done!
This weekend I am creating two videos on my new desktop: “Miracle on the Mountain,” and a video specific for a church in Chandler (A heart-felt thanks to the folks at Solid Rock Christian Fellowship who contributed to the Christmas Offering. My portion of it helped me get a much needed new desktop that can handle the heavy workloads of online ministry).
I plan on baking this weekend, too. My Christmas Day could be a white Christmas with fresh cinnamon rolls in the oven made from scratch.
Our Christmas was different this year (Grand Canyon backpacking trip) so there are no presents under the tree. Nothing can top the gift God gave us in Luke 2:
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Chaos and craziness will melt into Christmas peace by the time the weekend arrives.
I can’t promise I’ll be still, but I can promise to be in the moment.