“And she brought forth her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
They just won’t fit.
And yet, I had just pulled the boxes out.
They certainly should go back in.
Perhaps some sterner stuff is required.
I paused. Eyed the empty space. Took mental measurements.
And shoved harder.
I turned the largest box sideways. Nope. I rearranged two more to no avail. The box in my arms was getting heavier by the minute, and was stubbornly refusing to enter the cupboard graciously.
The stupid thing is, every box had moments before taken their places on these same shelves with quiet decorum. Why they were now refusing my ministrations with such ferocious independence, I couldn’t fathom.
I took another breath. No mere box was going to beat me. It simply had to fit.
Now the box was wedged in so tight that I couldn’t budge it either way. No in. No out. No wiggle. No nada.
I could feel the stirrings of a tantrum coming on.
It reminds me of Christmas, to be honest. (You know what I mean.) Bring the best appies to the staff party. Pick up the best gifts – on sale. Wrap like a pro. Decorate like a designer, bake like Granny, make your children’s Christmas dreams come true.
Join the community choir, volunteer at the Carol festival, make sure your neighbours and coworkers feel appreciated, give when the bells ring at the mall, crush the hockey fundraiser, pay the bills. (Those bills, though!)
Make room for Jesus.
It feels a little like trying to shove Him into a really really stuffed cupboard, if we dare to get honest.
Maybe you’ve judged those folks back in the day who didn’t make room for their Creator on that Bethlehem night, but it’s just not that simple. They didn’t know who that young mama was. They didn’t realize the miracle unfolding.
And it’s still hard to make room for the Guest of Honour in so busy a season.
I did get the wedged box out – after some frustrated grunts and a lot of effort. And when I finally took allllll the boxes out and put that offending box in first, everything fit in beautifully.
I bet you see where I’m going with this now.
I think my priorities get sideways sometimes. I think I try to shove a little Jesus in as an afterthought when He is the star of the show, the thing I need to add into my heart first before I try to shove other stuff inside.
Because once He is in His rightful place, the other things fit. Fall into place.
Give Jesus some room this Christmas with me?
Father, forgive us. We fret and stew and get rougher as we try to shove more stuff into our hearts than they can reasonably hold. Help us to prioritize You this busy season, so that our hearts will get what they really need – Your peace. Amen.