Thursday, December 12, 2013

Advent Devotion: December 12

My To-Do List
Read 1 Corinthians 15:58

A friend of mine recently told the story of finally cleaning out his garage and digging deep in an old box to discover a “To-Do List” from Christmas 2005. Prepared in the Yuletide season of 2005, this list set forth all the things he hoped to accomplish before December 25 arrived. 

Openly and candidly, some eight years later, my friend admitted looking at the list and realizing that he had never checked off a number of the items, and even more poignantly, admitted that he could not recall what some items on the list even meant!

My hearing of this story in my friend’s life made me think how much of the Christmas season I spend on matters that are unimportant, irrelevant and a waste. 

I recently read a novelist speak the truth: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans!” So I ask myself, how much of Advent will I spend checking off items on a list, to the exclusion of what ultimately matters. 

This Christmas, I challenge myself to change directions and make my “To-Do List” look like this:
1. Send a note of encouragement to my dear friend’s wife who became a widow this year, expressing my love for her husband and my concern for her. 
2. Forgive that colleague who openly insulted me at a public forum. 
3. Make myself vulnerable. Share with my children how grateful I am to be their father. 
4. Tell my colleagues at work how much I appreciate them. 
5. Spend an evening with just my wife remembering the blessings of our lives. 
6. Spend an early morning reflecting on the biblical account of Jesus’ birth.
7. And so on. 

Prayer: God, invite us to prepare for Advent. May our “To-Do List” this Christmas be ways of making our heart ready for the birth of Christ, and not wasted on the glitter and tinsel of the holiday rush. Amen.

-John Eldridge

From the Church Street Advent Devotion Book, 2013

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