Monday, December 8, 2008

25 Days of CHRISTmas - December 8, 2008

The Lord was swift with my gift today. The moment I received it, there was no doubt it was going to be the best gift of my day.

"On the eighth day of CHRISTmas my true Love gave to me... the gift of the still small voice."

I am relatively certain that my sensitivity to the voice of the Lord today was helped by the fact that I got up this morning and spent time with Him first. I have to be honest, I have really been struggling with a devotional program. The struggle is that I don't have one. And when I look at this giant book of possibilities and I don't know where or how to begin, my decision is more often than not to retreat and not begin at all.

This morning was no different in that I didn't know where to begin, but the determination to begin anyway was a bit stronger. First I looked up an old archived Beth Moore devotional. I think it's unfortunate that they are no longer continuing, but since I never consistently used them anyway, there is the wealth of the archive to be found for me. I ran across one on the second chapter of Luke and went with it since it seems to be a bit of a theme for me lately. It spoke of the things Mary pondered in her heart in the manger.

"So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:16-19

Beth talked about the possible things Mary had pondered in that moment, the visit of the angel, the doubt of Joseph, the suspicions of her family, the moment when Joseph believed the truth that she was carrying the Christ child, everything coming to fulfillment in that moment as the shepherds drew near at the call of the angels, what a wonderful full hearted moment it must have been, to know God had spoken.

Now I have spoken of far loftier things than I experienced later on this morning. I got out of the kids school rather quickly, and Neal informed me he was going to run an errand on his lunch hour. I made what I intended to be a quick stop at the grocery store for a few lighter snacks, because I am realizing (yet again) I need desperately to do something about my weight.

My intention of being quick was quickly thwarted by both the slow moving woman in front of me and her rather full cart, which she chose to empty onto the conveyor at a very leisurely pace. The all to chatty cashier of this only open line was no help either, as she was chatting at the man in line in front of the slow paced woman in front of me... and he was behind a woman who also stepped to the beat of her very own slow tempo'd drum, going entirely through her purse before walking away from the line. Sigh, SIGH - that was me. It was the chatted at man too, I say chatted at because he didn't respond as the cashier picked at him about being grumpy. He was an employee apparently on his break and he simply wanted his banana rung up. (Did you catch all that?)

Just in the moment when I was really about to let myself get fully riled to the point of irritability that's when I felt the little supernatural poke. Psst, is that the CHRISTmas spirit you've been looking for? The CHRISTmas spirit you have proclaimed ot have found?? The Holy Spirit pricked my spirit and changed my attitude. I was able to shake it off in an instant. It was miraculous.

By the time I got to the front I was transformed into P&P, the Pleasant and Polite. The cashier noted the pin on my sweater, like the tab here on my page; it says, "It's OK to say Merry Christmas."

"I like you pin," she said, "I need to get one like it." I was carrying more than half a dozen in my pocket for just such s moment as this... "Here," I said, "merry CHRISTmas." Her reply was "Praise the Lord!"

Yes indeed, praise the Lord for His faithfulness and pricking that enabled me to brighten someones day instead of rain upon it.

Merry CHRISTmas!