Also known as: Pondering stillness
December has been crazy, and if I am seeing things right, it will prove to be busy up until the end of the year. It’s not unusual that it’s crazy, but it just seems crazier this year. It’s not just the parties and the shopping and year-end work, but it’s also crazy in other aspects that I kind of wish I don’t have to deal with them. Or that I could opt out from them and not take responsibility and all that.
But alas. That’s a part of being intentional, I guess.
Anyway. Last week, I went to a party with my new(ish) SFC chapter. It was my first Christmas party with them, and probably my first actual Christmas party with the community again,1 and as with many community events this year, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Somewhere in the program, we watched a video about Christmas and then we were asked, What is the meaning of Christmas for you?
It should be easy to answer, but I found myself fumbling for one because I haven’t asked that question to myself for the longest time. I’ve always loved Christmas, and I’ve always celebrated it with much gusto. I’ve always held our traditions dear, I loved giving gifts (even if sometimes I cannot afford them), and in some strange way, I actually also enjoy the holiday rush.2 But I guess it’s true that when you grow older, it’s easier to lose touch with what Christmas means. Or somehow, the meaning of Christmas changes, and the things we believe and hold dear when we were younger becomes entirely different. Not wrong, but just different.
So back to the question: What is the meaning of Christmas for me?
I mentioned this in a previous post, how one of my prayers this year was to have a still, steady heart. I find it hard to keep still sometimes because I tend to think too much. And when I’m not thinking too much, I find myself filling my spare time with activities, with things to keep me busy just so I won’t think too much. It’s kind of a tiring cycle, and there were many times where I prayed to be content with stillness, to seek it, and to keep it for my heart.
December has always been busy and this year seemed a bit busier. I find myself longing for stillness even more, in the midst of this busy-ness. And it’s not the kind of stillness where I lock myself up at home and do nothing,3 but finding stillness in your center. Finding stillness in the midst of the busy and exhausting holiday rush. It’s holding on to that silence, to that stillness that must have been there that Christmas night, after the birth, and after the angels have sang and the shepherds have worshiped. It’s that stillness that can only be possible, achievable, if we truly seek it and if we remember why we have Christmas in the first place.
Christmas means stillness. It’s a busy December, and I find myself longing for that stillness, the one that will not be shaken even if I have to run all over the place to get things done. It’s the kind of stillness that tells me that everything will fall into place, in silence or in chaos, even if it seems like things are about to fall apart, when everyone and everything is clamoring for your attention. That it will be okay. No, that it will be more than okay. :) Everything will fall into place.
It’s Christmas Eve, and it’s still going to be a busy day with all the cooking and preparing for dinner and all the last minute things. But in the midst of all of these, I pray we all find the stillness that we need, the stillness that we all wish for (even if we don’t know it), and remember what Christmas is all about.
Be still my soul, the Lord is on your side.
Joy to the world, the Lord has come.