Day 42: A renewed spirit

I was sitting in an informal meeting before my lecture started last night. While there was a pause in the flow, I pulled my phone out and opened a message from my mother asking what one thing I wanted for Christmas was.

Talk about throwing somebody for a loop. That’s not a question you just answer in a matter of seconds. No, this is something that I needed to really think about and consider.

Now that I’m an adult living in another country, I wanted the gift to be equally practical and fun. When a few minutes passed and I could think of nothing to respond with, I simply told her I had absolutely no idea what I wanted. She would have to be the judge of what to send, if anything at all.

The whole stress of that situation brought to mind memories of Christmases as a child. If Mom had asked me the question “What do you want?” I would’ve been able to whip out a list in no time at all. As a kid, I approached the Christmas season with expectation and excitement.

Christmas season is still my favorite time of year today, but as an adult with a schedule and commitments, I now celebrate the holiday differently.

I have yet to watch one Christmas movie or do any Christmas shopping. While I have managed to listen to some holiday tunes, it has mainly been used as a backdrop to my study sessions or getting ready in the morning.

As I sat in lecture, I couldn’t help but think about how much I missed the wonder of the Christmas season. Yes, I was older and busier, but that didn’t mean I had to compromise the joy of the holiday.

Isaiah 9:6 reads “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders, And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

For many of us who fall into the category of adult believers, we have lost our excitement and awe over who Jesus Christ is. We have allowed business, relationships, careers, ambitions to override our pursuit of the Lord.

We still love Jesus, but we don’t celebrate Him like we did in the past. We don’t have as much time as before to write, sing, or talk to Him. While we may squeeze a prayer or two into the day, our minds are dually occupied by what remains unchecked on our to-do list.

Today my heart’s deepest desire is that we remember who Jesus is, the miracle of His conception and the liberty of His ascension. That He is our friend, the Shepherd of our souls, our Mighty Warrior, the Lion and the Lamb.

I want us to renew that sense of awe and wonder of Jesus we had when we first came to know Him. I want that passion to overflow from our daily lives in such measures that people can’t help but notice a change in you. And I say this to myself as well.

Christ tells His disciples in Matthew 18:2-4 how He is pleased when we have a childlike faith in Him, when our passions and interests aren’t divided but focused solely on who He is.

And finally, I pray that our renewed excitement and joy isn’t limited to this time of year but rather than it extends into the rest of our lives. That we moment-by-moment choose to abandon ourselves in the seeking of our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

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