Beware of any work for God [or anything other] which enables you to evade concentration on Him. A great many Christian workers worship their work. The one concern of a worker should be concentration on God, and this will mean that all the other margins of life, mental, moral and spiritual, are free with the freedom of a child...
– Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
The holidays are upon us. This is when we do a lot of good things: We cook for each other! We set the tables for gatherings! We think of gifts to get for one another! We travel to visit people we love and see too seldom! But all these good things are done poorly when we function with the anxiety of people who've forgotten why we're doing them in the first place: Love.
If the holidays are stressful, it's not the holidays' fault. It's not the media's fault. It's not Walmart's fault (although I wish they didn't suck as much as they do). It's our fault.
When we're unintentional with our attention and intention, our concentration obsesses on how things are rather than why things are. As Christians, this means that we've begun worshipping the work, the task, and the results, rather than the One whom we claim is trustworthy and the perfecter of all things.
For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
– Romans 11:36
We take the glory of "perfecting" things into our own hands far too often. We carry the weight of things "going well" as if Christ were only a person who lived over two-thousand years ago and has been absent ever since.
When our faith deepens into something greater than a theological agreement or belief, circumstantial inconveniences or discomforts expand into opportunities of Love. Does the fact that these words were said to Mary not necessitate that they are equally applied to each of us considering she bore the hope of the whole world? “Do not be anxious, Mary; you have found favor with God." – Luke 1:30
There is so much to be grateful for. More than we could ever discover in a thousand lifetimes. Happy Thanksgiving to you.