Thursday, November 29, 2012

What If -- A Christmas Challenge

My laptop tried to retire today.  The screen blinked black and grey, offering well-wishes before its departure, and then became unresponsive.  I knew when my technological genius of a husband encouraged me to go see the Apple guys, I was in trouble.  And while I held my composure on the outside, inside I was panicking.  How could this be happening now, when I'm knee deep in Christmas preparations and half of them are on my computer?  What about my email?  How am I going to stay in touch with people?  And all my pictures ....!  The fact that I still had an operating Android, and thus access to the outside world, assuaged my panic just a bit, but I made an immediate appointment at the Genius Bar nonetheless, hoping I wouldn't have to leave my laptop overnight.

A short hour later, as I carried a revived computer back out to my car, I sheepishly reflected on my earlier panic.  When had I become so dependent on my gadgets?  I thought I was about the most technologically apathetic person around.  Apparently not.  My reliance concerned me.  Where were my priorities?  I was afraid I'd have to be without my computer for a day.  Or, gasp, longer.

Am I equally as dependent on God?  (Don't you love how God uses every opportunity to get His point across!) What would be my reaction if I got an auto-reply from God to my prayer:  "I'm sorry.  I'm away from my desk for a while.  I will return a week from Tuesday.  ~God"  Would I panic?  Or would I breathe a sigh of relief because I wouldn't have to worry about my prayer and Bible study time for a while?  The question, even without considering the answer, makes me squirm.

May I be so bold as to offer a challenge to you (and me) as we enter this Christmas season?  Let's honestly examine our priorities.  Is our quiet time just another check box on the to-do list, or food to nourish our spirits and realign our perspectives? Is it the one thing that gets us through our day?  Do we check our Facebook status or our status with God first in the morning?  Sobering, isn't it?  The pressure of the must-be-dones, the craving for milk over meat, the glitz of the world speak so loudly into our lives it is easy to miss that still, small voice.  Yet it is in that voice that we find peace in chaos, grace for each moment, purpose in the to-dos.  I encourage you to quiet the noise, seeking His voice in the stillness.  Merry Christmas.

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