This is an iPhone shot of our non-existent holiday decorating. For the first time since the establishment of the Inman household in 1977, the Christmas tree is not up yet. At all. The living room is still an art studio for the college student who has projects due and finals looming. She certainly doesn’t have time to set up the tree. She’s barely keeping her head above water.
There’s no room and no time.
This is always the busiest season of the year for my Postmaster husband. The post-Thanksgiving snowstorm and package delays have snarled all our efficient pre-Thanksgiving and Black Friday on-line shopping. He must fix it. He can’t even think about the tree. He had a teleconference at 10 p.m. one night this week. He wears a red Grinch tie to work.
There’s no time. No time!
My redesigned website launches in a few days. As the site nears completion, I’m preparing to approach professional book reviewers. I’m plotting a social media campaign with my promotional team. I’m proofing the final copy of Refuge, and I’m writing Bible study material for 2 Timothy.
If they want to sell books, authors can no longer bask in the quiet contemplative life that fosters creativity. This is writer deadline crunch! My novel launches in only 50 Days!
There’s no time for the slow growth of sales caused by patient reading and word-of-mouth over the back fence. Buzz has to be created before publication, so it hits hard. This is how the publishing world runs now.
Can we skip the tree this year?
We haven’t been reduced to gnawing cold pizza for meals, but that’s only because my Postmaster husband bought plenty of crock-pot ingredients and already-prepared frozen meals.
We must take our time by force.
The world is impatient. There’s no time.
In the middle of this chaos and frenzied activity is the unchanging, eternal God.
The patient One. The One outside of time. He is not encumbered by our hurrying.
Yahweh sets plans in place and then calmly brings them to fruition. He warns his people when we sin and then patiently and mercifully waits to discipline. He bears all the weight of the relationship. He takes on all the cost of our redemption. He calls and gently draws us.
Skip the Christmas tree if you must, but hold on to the Savior!
“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:9-10).
This God yearns for us. He desires us. At great cost to himself, he does whatever it takes.
He wants us with him forever. Yet he is patient.
Before he set everything into motion, he had already appointed his Son to come to save us. He poured out his grace before we even existed. Then he worked history to bring Jesus at just the right time. And he came, lived, died, and rose. God with us. Emmanuel.
Christ is the stillness in the middle of the rush.
Christ is the anchoring fact of our lives.
Make time for him. Make room.
Keep your eyes fastened to the timeless One.
Photos: Top photo is a revelatory Inman original. Middle two photos licensed by Creative Commons. Bottom photo by iStock.