“The soul needs meaning the way the body needs food. Lack of meaning leads to an addictive consumer society in which people try to stuff the hole in their soul with things”.
At a time when frenzied shopping and eating become a national hobby, we read words like these and we might stop to ask ourselves: are we trying to fill peoples wish lists or stuff the hole in their soul with things? Or is the act of purchasing things for others our way of stuffing the holes in our broken relationships? This Christmas I was compelled from the very beginning of the Christmas season to clean house, purge unnecessary clothing and books, and even box some things up to put them away in my garage for future use. The thought came to me simply: prepare Him room.
It never says this in the Christmas stories that I read, but isnt interesting to think that even when Jesus weighed less than 10 pounds, our world had no room for Him? I picture Mary and Joseph, pregnant with the possibility that they were holding the world’s redeemer within them. I picture the paradox of a town, pregnant with fear and blind obedience, following through on the whimsical orders of a jealous and insecure king. These two worlds will never be in sync, for who can really live with two distinct mindsets? Who can work for two bosses? Who can worship an idol made of wood and stone and also give honor to the God whose name means I AM… THAT I AM!
What would it look like for you to prepare space and time in your Christmas schedule for Jesus? Perhaps you can have an honest conversation with yourself about your Christmas motives. Do you find deep meaning in celebrating Jesus entrance into our world, or do you settle for momentary highs of shopping and excessive gift giving. I admit, as a mother of four children, I do not always have the discernment to know what is given out of love and what is given to prove my love to my children.
Maybe you don’t have enough to do this Christmas and the idea of being lonely again for the holidays brings a certain fear. Perhaps this is a place to allow Jesus, not stuff and not people, to fill up the hole in your sole with His presence. One Christmas I had moved to a new town and had just delivered my third baby and first son. I was not anywhere near settled into where we had moved. No friends to bring me a meal or visit me at home. No familiar faces at church or in the neighborhood. On top of that, the Midwestern winter was brutal compared to the sunny southern California winters of my previous life. I had so much time on my hands that I took up crocheting. Stitch after stitch I would sit in contemplation of my old life and it’s fullness, until one day I realized… I was RELAXED. Snow and new baby kept us home bound where we read and crafted and crocheted to our hearts content. No entertaining to do, no obligations to meet. I saw this as A place where God forced me to prepare room in my life for space and rest and breathing and slowing down the pace of my overstuffed life.