Time To Simplify

Feeling stressed?

It seems that each time I ask this question I get the same response. It doesn't matter if the person is a Christian, non Christian, an atheist, agnostic, or spiritually indifferent. Pretty much each person has told me the same thing- they can't wait until Christmas is over.  I have to admit I have found myself thinking the same thing many times, especially during this week.

Why is this so?  Why do we want Christmas to end before it has even begun?  The answer is simple.  We are all too stressed. Christmas instead has become a burden not a joy. 

A couple of days ago I stumbled upon this meditation from Pope Benedict XVI I think it is very fitting:

"God’s sign is simplicity. God’s sign is the baby. God’s sign is that he makes himself small for us. This is how he reigns. He does not come with power and outward splendor. He comes as a baby – defenseless and in need of our help. He does not want to overwhelm us with his strength. He takes away our fear of his greatness. He asks for our love: so he makes himself a child. He wants nothing other from us than our love, through which we spontaneously learn to enter into his feelings, his thoughts and his will – we learn to live with him and to practice with him that humility of renunciation that belongs to the very essence of love. God made himself small so that we could understand him, welcome him, and love him."
(To read the rest of this meditation click here.)

I love the way in which Pope Benedict states how "God's sign is simplicity."  It is in direct contradiction to the way our society views the season. Our society has replaced God's simplicity with complexity.  In a complex world there can't be peace.  Simplicity, not complexity is the key to finding peace especially during these final days before Christmas.   The question we should all be asking is, How can I simplify my life? 

I think that one of the ways in which we can all settle down and relax during these final days is to view Jesus as a child; not as the great prophet, Messiah, savior figure, but as a child, small, defenseless,  helpless; pathetically dependent on us for survival.

I feel that children have the best perspective when it comes to Christmas.   They are excited, filled with hope, they can't wait for it.  As adults I feel that we have lost sight of this.  We have it in reverse.  Instead we are counting down the days till Christmas ends.  How sad this is.  We need to become more like children and I feel that by viewing Jesus as a child; we too can wait in joyful expectation for the coming of him this Christmas.

Let us not squander these final days to frenzied worrying or last minute shopping. Instead I challenge all of you (myself included) to view Jesus as a helpless infant who needs you just as much as you need him.   Let us all become like children again. Let us become simple!

"The Nativity" by Carl Bloch


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