“Before all the chaos of this season, there was a silent night.” I will be the first to raise my hand and say I get way too caught up in the decorations and gifts and parties and forget about the silence of the season. None of those things are bad at all, unless we are missing the big picture – and I miss the big picture far too often.
I feel like I’ve had zero time to do anything lately, much less decorate for Christmas. If I’ve learned one thing this year, it’s the desperate need to learn to say “no” so that my yeses can be big. I was determined to get my house in tip-top Christmas shape before I left for a work trip for a week so it’d be ready for a party I’m hosting right when I get back.
My husband turned on Christmas music and tried to dance with me in the living room and make it as fun as possible – but I was so focused on making everything perfect that I had no time for fun. I was shoving things in the tree, wrapping ribbon around it, and spraying on fake snow. I got so frustrated and was so negative because I felt like every little touch wasn’t good enough. But I was trying to do so many different things, so close up that I didn’t notice how beautiful it really looked. My husband said, “Hey it looks great from back here,” but I didn’t want to hear it.
I finally took a step back and realized how beautiful it really did look – not perfect, but beautiful. You couldn’t even see the imperfections I noticed close up, down in the weeds (or branches in this case.) My tree still isn’t finished – there is still work to be done, ornaments to be hung, but that doesn’t make it not good enough. The work left to be done in you doesn’t make you not good enough either, friend. It won’t be finished until you get to Heaven. You will never have arrived here on earth.
All it took was me taking a step back to notice the glory of it all. Last week, one of my high school small group girls said, “Sometimes the next step is to take a step back.” And that was one of the most profound things I’ve heard in a while. Sometimes you do really just have to step back and look at the big picture. Don’t add one more thing. Don’t try to fix anything else. Don’t get wrapped up in the doing. Just look at the big picture of all you have already done and how God has made it a masterpiece, and then rest in the beauty and magic of it all. It’s about peace, not perfection anyway, isn’t it?