I was very frustrated (driving West-bound on highway 117) as I got behind a car doing 30 mph at best. "Why is he going so slowly?" I exclaimed to myself. I was preparing to pass and zoom to a normal highway speed when I glanced to my left and saw what was the probable cause of his slow travel: He was looking at the Christmas light display which is prepared annually by the Paragon company. I hadn't really noticed it as I was "zipping" by, but when I looked I was caught by the beauty and grandeur of these marvelous lights. For me it was a "God moment" as i realized that I was rushing through Christmas and was on the verge of missing the wonder of it all. I realized that I needed to "slow down" a bit. Could this be true of you as well?...
Though not specifically an Advent text, the words of Psalm 46:10 are certainly appropriate for Advent season: "Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." The simple fact is that it is difficult to be caught up in wonder, majesty, and praise, when our hearts and minds are racing. In fact, when our lives are moving forward "full-speed" we are usually in danger of missing the things that are truly meaningful and important.
When my children were young I confess that I too often let the business of the season rob me of time that I could have spent with them. This came back to haunt me as my children became teenagers and I one day realized that now they frequently didn't have time for me. But it is time with one another, time with God, and time to enjoy the beauty of the world about us that makes life, and Christmas in particular, wonderful and grand.
So, with only five of Advent left, I invite you to slow down: watch a movie, see the lights, enjoy the music, worship together. Let Christmas be a time when your relationship with God and others grows deep. I don't think you will be sorry if you allow yourself to "slow down for Christmas!"
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.