Mr. Music please:
“Oh….you better watch out,
You better not cry!
Better not pout
I’m telling you why……”
Abrupt, screeching halt:
Christmas is very, very, very NEAR…
To which we all say, “Oh Dear!!!”
Please tell me why we are all racing? Racing for what?
To the store.
To the mall.
To the Outlets.
Ever on the hunt for that perfect gift. Sigh…
Recently I read a book that stopped me in my tracks. It so jarred my world I decided you, dear readers, must know about it, ‘cuz I don’t want to be jarred all by myself!!! Quickly, add this book to your Christmas list! Next, jot down “Read in January” on your calendar.
The book? Restless: Because You Were Made for More by Jennie Allen. It is a resource you’ll gobble up (Sorry, consumed too much turkey over Thanksgiving…) and return to often. It applies to all ages because Jennie teaches us about different seasons we all go thru’, especially when we feel restless. She shows us how to recognize them, while clinging to our faith. www.jennieallen.com
One of my favorite chapters includes a clever parable Jennie created. It challenged me regarding my whereabouts in this race called “life”.
Chapter Seven begins with:
“When I met Christ, He set me on a track, and
I began running a race with fervor,
Surrounded by people cheering.
I felt motivated, purposeful, full of joy.
My eyes weren’t distracted.
Jesus was in full focus, and the point of this race felt clear.”
Jennie continues telling us about the race. She did really well … for a while… Sadly, one day she tripped and hurt her ankle. She was tired and admitted it felt good to stop for a while.
On the side of the road, were other injured folks. They gathered together and soon became comfortable with one another, looking to other things besides running. They even went so far as to critique the runners passing by…all the while enjoying being together on the side of the road… DANGER WILL ROBINSON…. Can’t you picture this scenario? This is a red-hot-warning…
Let’s look at it another way: Let’s say you go to a Bible study, or to your Small Group, but one day you’re sick. You can’t go. You stay home. And then the next week, something else comes up. All too soon you find other folks who aren’t in a Bible study, but maybe involved with something else.
One day you wake up and realize you’re equally “entertained”, but nowhere close to studying God’s Word anymore. How’d that happen? What causes us to get off track???
One thing I’ve learned the hard way, is there’s always somebody who’ll be on your side. Especially when it may not be the right side to be on. The very last place Satan wants you to be is in a Bible Study or Small Group. He’s crafty at creating detours.
Check your whereabouts! Get back in the race! Hold each other accountable!
Back to Jennie’s parable: Finally, a runner in the race approached Jennie on the side line and asked her if she needed help. She surprisingly answered, “Yes!” The runner said, “We want you to run the rest of the way with us. It’s really exciting and we don’t have much farther.”
Something inside of Jennie woke up. She said, “A fire relit itself in my chest. My ankle still hurt, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to recklessly run with all my heart again, because they reminded me of the reason we run.”
“I am running to bring Glory to my Father God, who gave me a purpose and a hope when I was unworthy, on the side of the road, broken.”
“Now our little misfit team STOPS for every runner we see on the side of the road. We STOP and offer them the same healing and hope that was offered to us.”
“I sense God’s pleasure as we run and as we STOP for those who have fallen off to the side.”
So while the Christmas Season is fast upon us, and while we just may be racing around town for that special gift, make a concerted effort to slow down.
Be aware of those around you.
Someone along your path may need hope and purpose for the perfect Christmas gift.
Come January, as in post-Christmas, take the time to read Restless. Jennie will walk you thru’ threads which reveal your gifts, and ways to be right smack in the middle of God’s will.
She includes wonderful Scripture for many challenging scenarios that will dig you out, plopping you right back into the race. You’ll lose that restless feeling while gaining a whole new appreciation for the Lord.
She concludes with, “Our souls are restless until they rest in God.”
Finally, write Hebrews 12:1-3 out on a post-it note for your dashboard while you traverse the Christmas shopping traffic. (If you live in Louisville, think Shelbyville Road by the malls!!!) It will be a good reminder to dodge distractions and stay in the race:
‘Til next time!