and I little bit creepy, when, out of now where, I can hear Diana Ross singing in my head:
“Do You Know
Where you’re going to?
Do you like the things?
That life is showing you
Where are you going to?
Do you know?”
(Diana Ross – 1975)
Normally, I do not ever think about Diana Ross, yet as I sat down to write this New Year letter and pondered what I might say, this song played strong in my mind – a throw-back to radio pop music when I was just thirteen. Thirty-eight years later, this portion of her melody resonates in my mind; Scary what the mind retains!
I must also confess that this is probably the first year of my life that I could not muster up the usual Christmas spirit. Almost none of the usual build-up-to-the-season by way of children-pleasing traditions were played out – partially due to the fact that most my children are not young anymore and not around to embark on the usual preparations – and partially due to the fact that my home had been in such a turmoil of disruption for the previous 5 months that climaxed with a great flurry of workers as last minute details fell into place just thirteen days before the time of celebration: Christmas.
Nonetheless, the tree was put up, decorations set out, gifts shopped for, and food preparation done. We ate, we gave and received gifts, we delighted in the visual pretties. I admit though, not even one Christmas card was sent by me.
Feeling a bit like George Bailey, I sat alone and watched, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” this past Saturday night. Part of my pondering included a slump.
Five days later, everything is put away except the manger scene figures that sit on my kitchen window sill. Life is a whirlwind here at my house.
All I wanted for Christmas was Peace. My kids asked me, and so that is what I posted on my refrigerator on a sticky note: “I want Peace for Christmas – Mom.”
My son, Samuel, in all his charm and wit gave me a pillow with the letters P-E-A-C-E stitched across it. So, in a sense, I got what asked for.
Coincidentally or divinely arranged, our pastor preached on peace this Christmas Eve; fitting, as it was what I had been pondering all the season since Thanksgiving. Peace. Not the kind of peace in the quiet moment. Not the kind of peace that comes with calm scenery or well loved music. I am talking about the peace that fills the soul with total satisfaction and a knowing that all is well.
I believe in my heart there is no peace found on this earth….and there never will be.
You see, no “things” or people bring me peace.
Truly, I say to you my dear friends and family, peace only comes when we abide in Him and with Him.
Loving Jesus brings me peace. And it seems only when I keep my focus on Him, do I have peace in my heart.
And still, Diana Ross’ lyrics repeat in my mind.
Do I know where I am going to?
Do I like the things that life is showing me?
Where am I going to?
These are all great questions to ponder as a New Year approaches.
Put another way, I might re-word the inquisitions:
What are my goals?
What is life showing me?
Where am I headed?
There will be no New Year resolutions for me tomorrow evening; no temporary intentions to fix myself. But I will be pondering and striving with resolves all the year through; decisions and answers to hold close.
My goals are to serve my King – the One who was born in the stable and laid in the manger.
Life is showing me that there is no peace or comfort found in it. Only struggles and challenges and hard things that need seeing and hard things that need doing. Life also shows me that with a right set of eyes, there is beauty and joy in the seeing and doing.
I am headed toward a Kingdom – where the whole of my salvation sits at the right hand of His father.
Herein lays my Christmas spirit.
It is an ongoing everyday way of being. I just may keep those manger scene figures out on my new window sill all year long…
It is my prayer that each one of you may be able to answer those impertinent yet important questions that Ms. Ross sang so many years ago: what are your goals, what is life showing you, where are you headed? I hope you can answer in a way that brings you true peace this New Year of 2015.
I hope you each had a merry Christmas with your loved ones, as I did. ‘Tis the season for remembering what is important – family and special people are near the top of my list. At the very top, is the One most important.
Do you know Him?