Sunday night we had guests over for dinner and I didn’t clean my house.
There was an internal war inside of me – do I vacuum, dust and clean – or just let it go and focus on the cooking, the table, and the people who are coming?
Would I rather continue on with what had already been a peaceful day – or kick it into high gear, running around trying to make everything look “just right?” I won’t even mention what kind of mood that puts the whole family in. Did our guests even care? Or even notice?
To some people, this Christmas season brings stress, dread and worry. I think of Narnia without Aslan – “always winter but never Christmas.” We lose our focus as life gets hurried and complicated. We dash around doing things that really don’t matter (like cleaning my house before the guests arrive!), and then our perspective shifts. We get so caught up in our present circumstances that we can’t see beyond our difficulties.
I had been focusing all day on “hope,” as I’ve been feeling hurts and pains that people around us have been experiencing this season. If we lose our hope – what else is there? Where do we turn?
Some call it optimism, but when I look deep into the Christ-child’s eyes, I call it hope. It is enough assurance for me that I can put the dreariness of Christmas aside: money, commercialism, and even too much tradition, or making sure my house looks perfect to keep up an image that I have it all together.
We had such a great time with our guests. At one point I found myself looking down at the un-vacuumed carpet. For a split second I was embarrassed, but then I looked up into the faces of those around our table and my perspective shifted back into place.
It is through my faith, the basis for my hope, that my priorities are put into proper perspective. It’s not about the crumbs on the floor, the perfect meal, the latest table setting – it’s about the hope that resides in each one of us.
That’s enough for me.
If you are entertaining this holiday season, what one thing will you be focusing on before that first knock on the door?Leave a Comment