With all that stuff going on, you'd think I'd be fulfilled.
Nope. Not even close. More often than not, I feel anxious. Desperate. Inadequate.
My task-oriented nature struggles to stay in the moment. To focus my energy on one thing, without mentally scrambling to determine the most efficient way to check off something else at the same time.
But by refusing to do one thing at a time, I'm not doing any one thing well.
And I'm robbing myself of so much joy.
Jim Elliot is quoted as saying, “Wherever you are, be all there.” I love that. I want that to characterize my life. I think it's another key to rediscovering joy.
Because something tells me that when Jesus took on humanity, He was an “all there” kind of guy. Would you care to guess what makes me think that?
Jesus spent nine months in a womb.
Have you ever thought of the challenge that must have been? To go from omnipresence to embryo. To grow inside a body You created.
But He did it. He was all there. All God. All man. All at the same time. All miraculously contained inside Mary's swelling body. The Word that spoke the world into existence limited Himself to baby babble. The hands that carved out oceans and piled high mountains were content to bang on a pot with a wooden spoon.
Wherever He was, He was all there.
And because He became Immanuel, God with us, we have Joy. True Joy. Not fleeting happiness. Not momentary pleasure.
So as I stand in football field length store lines or sit in gridlocked mall traffic, instead of chafing at the limitations, I'm trying to practice being all there.
I'm not always successful, but when I am, I'm discovering there's so much Joy to be found in every moment.
So what about you? Do you feel up to a Christmas challenge?
This week, join me. Wherever you are, be all there. Wrapping presents? Be all there. At a party? Be all there. At a Christmas program when you still have Christmas baking, shopping, cleaning, and wrapping to do? Be all there.
I think you'll find Joy there.
And when you do, please come back and tell us about it.
edited from the archives