Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Him, in the midst of it all

"ox and sheep, camel and donkey"
1 Samuel 15:3

We enjoyed one of our favorite holiday traditions this weekend ~ no, not the shopping, although we did that, too.  We went to a "Drive-Thru Nativity" at a local church.  We've been visiting it for over fifteen years now. 

It's a cute idea.  Members of the church dress up in costumes to play the different roles, and they bring in live sheep and goats and a camel or two.

The little drummer boy

The whole thing takes place behind the church, and in their parking lot and the parking lots of the surrounding businesses.

The line of cars is usually quite long.  This year it took us about 40 minutes to get all the way through it.  Probably 20 minutes of that time is waiting in line, and 20 minutes to actually go through the nativity. 

I know you can't read that, but it's Isaiah 9:6.  Trust me.

There's a lot to look at ~ sometimes on both sides of the car, sometimes the action is concentrated on one side or the other.  But for some reason, as we snaked our way along this year, I found myself looking around a little.  Normally the Apple of my Eye drives, but I offered to this year, so he could just enjoy looking, without worrying about keeping an eye on the cars.

The angel Gabriel's announcement to Mary.

And so, in between looking at "travelers" and "angels" and "sheep" -- no, wait, those are actual sheep... I found myself looking at a bank, and a dental office and some other generic buildings.

On the way to Bethlehem

Now here's the funny thing.  You can get surprisingly caught up in the "show" when you're watching someone perform.  You lose yourself in the people and the setting, and kinda forget the world around you.  Happens to me every time I see anything performed onstage.

But then, when I saw those office buildings, it brought me back to reality.  Where, to be honest, I didn't particularly want to be.

"Sorry; no room.  But there's a stable down that way."

And I thought how often that happens in life ~ that my head is about Him, praying, or singing the worship song that's caught in my head, or pondering what I just read in the Bible...

And then I look up to see what time it is, and I realize I need to be somewhere.  Or I walk into the kitchen and see the dishes that need to be done.  Or the phone rings.  Or et cetera, et cetera.  You know how it is.

A camel.  And a wise guy.  And oh look, a real camel!  Honestly, it's beyond me how anyone sits comfortably on one of those things...

Keeping our eyes on Him takes focus ~ even in this season where we're constantly reminded of His great gift to us.  Maybe it requires more frequent Bible reading than usual.  Maybe we need to talk about Him more to our families, acknowledging blessings and loving others out loud.

It would make a nice prayer, though.  One He'd love to hear.  "Lord, help me to think about You more today.  Keep my heart on you."  I'll bet those simple words would accomplish more than we think, cuz when we want what He wants, we take a giant step closer to "Thy will be done."

~ "You will keep in perfect peace
       Whose mind is stayed on You" ~
Isaiah 26:3

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