I tend to look at details as my nemesis.
Their war cry is, “Ah ha! Missed me again!”
It’s so easy for me, during this time of the year, to be overwhelmed by details. By what I could do. Should do. Would do with more time. More energy. More creativity.
The cookie dishes sit empty because I don’t have time. And frankly I’m not fond of making cookies.
They just get eaten. And then you have to start all over again.
The candles need new innards. I’ve managed to store candle holders–in the attic–with their waxy companions still in them. After a Florida summer, they often look like colored squish. Melted in and around the crevices. Looking nothing like they were meant to look.
These aren’t life enders. They’re not even life complicators. But I hate letting those little detail buggers ambush me like that.
It tends to make me Scroogey.
But even Ebenezer was redeemed. After his visits by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, he determined he would celebrate Christmas in his heart all year long. He would help people who needed it.
He wasn’t going to be stuck in miserly minutia.
I don’t want to either.
I was with a group of friends the other night, talking about Christmas traditions. We began to share our personal Santa stories–when we discovered he wasn’t a jolly elf of a man who has lived for eons and gives great gifts. Quite a few of us had felt devastated by the loss of that fantasy.
But it didn’t destroy our hearts for Christmas. If anything, it had helped us appreciate the real meaning of Christmas more.
As I listened to the laughter and the stories, I had one of those moments of clarity that are often accompanied by bright lights and crescendoing music in the movies.
Without the glitz and sound, I felt a genuine appreciation for friends who could be honest with each other. For other women who had no capacity to be domestic goddesses able to create wonderfully shaped cookies with detailed frosting painted on them. For people I respect who struggle in much the same way I do.
We can all feel attacked by the minutia militia at times. Especially during the Christmas season when great intentions often keep us from experiencing the wonder of the moment. When detailed plans for enjoyment are more of a hindrance to fun than a help.
We can’t make it work.
That’s why Jesus came. At Christmas. To free us from the tyranny of what we can’t do on our own.
Near the end of His earthly ministry, Jesus reminded His men why He came and what we’d all deal with in this life.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you WILL have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
He came to provide the way of peace for us in Him. A way to deal with the trials that life offers each of us every day. In relationship with Him.
That’s a detail worth holding close to your heart.
Second photo courtesy of ehow.com.