“I’m ready for Christmas!”
I’ve heard that frequently of late. I’ve said it, too. My wife Darla and I have planned ahead, put up the tree and the lights, bought the presents, wrapped them and put them under the tree. Tonight we’ll attend Christmas Eve services at our church. Tomorrow we’ll gather with family for a wonderful meal.
But are we really ready?
Usually people say they’re ready for the holidays with a sigh of relief as if a burden has been lifted. Ironic, isn’t it?
Is it possible we can be prepared for Christmas, or whatever Holiday you celebrate, but not be truly ready? Let me suggest that preparations are about what’s going on around us but that being ready is about what’s going on inside us. Preparations are a function of activities, but being ready is a function of attitude.
Are we ready to remember why we’re going through the motions, and if we are Christians, to put the birth of Christ front and center?
Are we ready and willing to live a little differently and better because we’ve remembered correctly what Christmas is about?
Are we ready to give up the self-absorption that so easily traps us, and think about other: those less fortunate, those in danger, those absent from us?
Are we ready to be truly thankful or simply relieved?
Are we ready to forgive slights and injustices that rob us of joy?
Are we ready to make time to be truly in the moment instead of projecting ahead how we’ll clean up the house after opening presents and whether we’re truly ready for the New Year’s Eve party?
It is far easier to be prepared than truly ready. Having everything “done” doesn’t mean we are truly ready.
I hope for you that we are both prepared and ready for this wonderful season of celebration, and the day that is Christmas.
Today, tomorrow and always I wish you joy.