Confusion, Weariness, and a Reminder

So, it’s 1:30 am and I should be asleep.  I’m tired.  I’ve got a headache.  But I’m also comtemplative, so I’m going to write this, then go to bed.

I have been struggling these past few weeks with a major decision.  It is one that will determine the next year of my life, and will be a huge impact on my career and education.  I’ve struggled, prayed, and sought the advice of many wise people (and some not wise people) and had a lot of time to think.  So now, soon, I must make this decision.  I must take this weight, this burden, and choose so that I do not carry it any further.

I realized, just a moment ago, that I have made one huge mistake.  I’ve carried this burden myself.  Why would I carry a burden that I am not meant to bear?  Why do I consider this problem, which I my decision to make, a problem that I must worry about?  I have realized that I have done two great sins.  First, I have worried.  Worrying is nothing that I am meant to do, and it can only hurt me and the calling that I have recieved.  The second sin is that I haven’t given it truly to God.  I should have committed this to his hands.  Instead, I have wrestled with it, sought an answer that I can come up with, and ultimately have worried to the point that I am now more confused, weary, and just ready to be done.

But then I was reminded this evening.  I saw pictures my sister put up of my nephew and the Christmas tree.  He’s almost 3 years old, and he has served several times as a reminder of the truths of life for me.  In these pictures, I was amazed to see the wonderment, the excitement, and the sheer love of this season in his expressions.  For him, Christmas is not an old memory that is changed and amended year to year.  He does not see this season as busy and cumbersome.  He does not struggle with decisions about his future.  He simply is excited about Christmas.

I know, that at 3, he does not fully understand the significance of Christ coming in the incarnation that is the gift of Christmas.  But for that matter, I also know that I don’t fully understand it either.  He has, simply, a childlike faith that is excited to experience the fullness of the season.  The decorations, gifts, services, stories, and all the other trappings of Christmas are exciting.  He will gradually come to understand it in time.  He does know that Christmas is about Jesus coming to earth.  He’s a smart kid.

I’m reminded that I must put my own worries, problems, and concerns apart.  I’m reminded that this season, as I know it, is about God’s first step towards the New Covenant.  It put into motion the cross.  Here, as we celebrate this season, I know that this decision I make is big.  It’s huge.  It’s important.  It’s not mine to make.  I give it to God.  I let go, I give it up, and I carry it no more.  I look forward, with anticipation and wonderment, at the season before me.  I will experience it one day at a time, without worry, for tomorrow has enough worries of its own.  God has taken care of me this far, and he will continue to do so as well.

May we all walk forward into Christmas with a childlike faith.  Consider the great Spirit of the season, the majesty of God’s work, and the love he has shown to us all.  Experience the traditions, the services, the gifts, the family and friends anew.  This is a fresh year.  This is a fresh season.  Be as a child.  Give the problems of your heart to God, and he will listen.

Finally, if you are confused or weary, be reminded that it took a child to change the world.  I guess another child helped change mine tonight.

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Published by: Brad Kirk

I'm an ordained Elder in the Great Plains Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and serve as pastor of Leoti UMC in western Kansas. I am a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary. I love being a husband to Diana and a father to Tobin. Most of all I am a child of God!

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