Focusing in Advent

(Written by Kristen Albaugh)

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” Luke 2:19

lightstock_177767_max_kristin_This is arguably, my favorite verse in all of the Bible. I especially like it during the Advent season.

We aren’t told what exactly Mary, the mother of the Hope of the world, was treasuring and pondering. But we do know she had just given birth to Jesus.

In a barn.

After a long trip.

By way of donkey.

And she was visited by complete strangers.

Men strangers. (Remember the “just have given birth” part?) They were, most likely, stinky men-strangers (perhaps the smells of the barn helped out some here *wink*).

I’m not sure about you, but I would be doing something that looked and sounded a lot different than pondering and treasuring immediately following the aforementioned events. But not Mary, she quietly and gently treasured up and pondered what was going on around her.

This Christmas season, I’m trying very hard to focus on treasuring and pondering.

It’s not natural for me. I’m not good at it. My strengths reside more in the Yelling and Rushing categories. And I’m really good at peppering that with selfishness, greed and indifference.

But I’m afraid I’m passing this on to my children and it breaks my heart.

The only solution is to change my focus. On many levels, it’s unnatural to focus primarily on Jesus being the ultimate gift. We want the best for our children. We want to see them smile. We want to make them happy.

If we consider the joy we could give them if we were to take some of the focus off the secular and put it back where it belongs – Jesus. I don’t have the answer, but I’m convinced it lies somewhere in the treasuring up and pondering.

So this season, I’m praying for focus. And I’m making a concerted effort to focus on what really matters.

Jesus. Family. Friends.

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