STOP! Wait…Slow Down

My three-year-old is learning the rules of the parking lot. And seeing as that we live on a busy parking lot these rules are very important for her to learn for her safety. We have tried several tactics including “stay right there and don’t move,” “always hold hands,” “touch the car,” “stay in your seat until I say you can get out,” “look both ways,” but inevitably we end up shouting, “STOP! Wait…Slow Down.” If she will stop and look around herself she can see if there is danger coming or if she is safe before she moves further into the parking lot.
I realize it takes time for children to learn some lessons, but it is the lessons they must learn for their safety and their development that we worry about most as parents. As children of God, we sometimes need to hear the same instruction from our Heavenly parent as we have given to children around us, “STOP! Wait…Slow Down.” We spend so much of our energy focusing on the things that take us away from God, like worrying about things that we cannot control, or trying to control things that we cannot control, or feeling bad about things that we have done wrong, or running on empty when we know we need some rest, or hiding our darkness from the light of day, or distracting ourselves from the stress of our work and our families and our sadness and our brokenness…we spend so much energy focusing on the things that take us away from God that we do not leave much room for spending time with God. We need to “STOP! Wait…Slow Down.”
The HOLIDAYS! don’t help any of those things above. In fact they can add stress to an already stressful lifestyle. Shopping, parties, presents, food, family, friends. And there are some among us who find the Christmas holidays to be the saddest time of year as they grieve the loss of loved ones. Christmas has become one of the times of highest pressure for families to celebrate. And while celebrating the “holidays” is fun, celebrating Christmas is about ONE THING and ONLY ONE THING…celebrating Christmas is about welcoming our SAVIOR. This should be a celebration of relief because our worries lie in the hands of our Lord. This should be a time of reflection when we set aside intentional time to grow our relationship with God. This should be a time of remembering the HOPE that comes from the promise of a poor baby boy, born of lowly birth in a feed trough for animals who would become the King of Kings and the Prince of Peace. The promise is that the Kingdom of God is at hand. God lives among us, in us, and through us. Christ Jesus lives in our hearts and when we nurture our relationship with God and our relationship with others we grow the power of Christ in the world.
Let us spend this Christmas, yes, celebrating and enjoying one another, but let us not forget to STOP! Wait…Slow Down. Spend some time reflecting on Jesus and growing your relationship with God.

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About lizdeweese

I'm a 30's something mom of two young children who serves as minister to a suburban church in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm married to a minister of another Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) just across the river in norther Kentucky. It's a challenge, but I love every bit of it!
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