making a list. checking it constantly.

You don’t need the cliches about holiday stress, about living up to expectations, about making sure that everything is memorable and perfect and enough.  You just have to look down at that list on your desk.

  • The one on the scrap of paper that you wrote last night when you couldn’t sleep and you realized that Christmas is less that two weeks five days away.
  • The one in your planner that reminds you that you have less that three weeks to finish everything that you wanted to finish in 2010. 2018. (I still have things from that old list undone).
  • The one underneath your monitor where no one else can see it that reminds you that you don’t measure up yet.

a time to reflectYou don’t really need to be reminded of this. What you would much rather be reminded of is that there were shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night. Some of them had lists. I am sure of it. Some of them were trying to figure out how to prevent wolves from attacking through the firewall. And some were working on problems with voice recognition in some of the sheep. And some were dealing with a virus that kept attacking. And some had heard of a trojan horse and were wondering about that oddly large ram.

In short, there were shepherds just as worried about life, about measuring up, about discrimination and economic struggles and work and family as we are. And in the middle of one night, a bunch of angels showed up and talked about good news.

The good news wasn’t that all the problems were going to go away. The good news wasn’t that a cure had been found for the common wolf. The good news was that there was a baby, a person, a savior.

Getting the list done doesn’t give peace. Only a Prince of peace can.


First published in 2010.