It's about that time again...the season of festivities known as the holidays. I wince a little. I was content with the hustle and bustle that my life generally brings with it...but once again my work is quickly stilted by the reality that the holidays are indeed almost here. The weather just turned brisk and the store aisles are quickly being converted over to "holiday" mania. Santa's photo aisle is in place in the mall and happy families stroll down the center court arm in arm. With such scenes merrily dancing in front of our eyes, the Holiday blues are easy to get for singles longing for such.
For most of us lone rangers, it's that the time of year that has become bittersweet. I personally love most everything about the season, the festivities, the thanksgiving and celebration of our Saviors birth...but as a thirty-something normal American single...it also means I'll spend the next few months enduring the innocent jabs of family, unanswered questions as to why I'll stand under the mistletoe another year without a kiss and how my New Year's celebration won't be properly sealed at midnight.
With all those traumatic events to look forward to, I'd like to crawl up into my Saviors lap and flash him a toothy grin and hand him my wish list...all of which include tall, dark and handsome if you know what I mean. But Santa He isn't and the recognition of such causes me to probe my innermost being. How will I survive yet another holiday season...all alone?
Last year I came to the realization that I was so occupied going through the motions and participating in all the festivities of setting up trees, hanging lights and shuffling family members that I somehow missed the significance of the season. Bottom line is it's really a celebration about our Savior's birth. How could I miss something as simple yet significant as that?
Yet, somehow in my shallow mind I took the glory away from the season and wrapped it all around me, my situation and the things I think I lack. In the same vein, how often do we find that we are so busy serving Christ that we completely sacrificed our time of sitting with Christ? When push comes to shove who among us aren't more Martha, scurrying about making sure everything is right, even though we know we need to be more like Mary, sitting at His feet learning? Even during the holidays!
Well, essentially it boils down to a little thing I'd like to call perspective. Why on earth am I here? Why Lord, am I still single and why do I have to endure the holidays instead of enjoying them? As usual, His soft answers generally come in inaudible waves of "Yes, why indeed?" Quickly, the myopic view of my solo status is quickly replaced by my task at hand.
Reality is, we all have the same calling as the twelve apostles...but somehow we've diluted that as our real "purpose." No matter what thing we slap on it to sugar coat the call...that's exactly what it is-our career path is nothing less than the great commission. Essentially, I've forgotten that it's not all about me. Surprisingly enough, we weren't put on the earth to make ourselves happy or even to create the heaven on earth we so desperately try to construct with all our accumulations. Boy, the holiday gift giving season can really help stir that into frenzy! (My mind just wandered there!)
However, truth be told our sole purpose is to worship and glorify Him leading others to Himself. Essentially, we were all created for far more than we actually do...but the choice is yours. Who will you focus on this season...yourself or Jesus the true "reason for the season?"
So, my advice, in order to make it through this holiday season without all the usual pity parties...discover what matters most. Once we do that it's easy because all the focus isn't on us and what we do or don't lack.
However, the question that really begs answering is will you push aside tumultuous family relationships, stressful get-together's and even grandparents tugging on your cheeks asking you when you'll finally "shape up" so you can find someone. Can you push all that aside and simply cling to the Savior? I know it's easier said than done...but if you choose that now you'll be surprised at how easy it is to breeze through those situations.
Granted, I'll still climb up into His lap with my long list and yea, I still flash Him a toothy grin. But now, it's not so that I can melt His heart to get my way, it's just so I can melt His heart and let Him know I'm truly thankful for all He's done. If we start our long list of requests with the appeal that His wish list fully replace our own, that our mind would be transformed to His mind we'd be a lot better off.
See, He's wanted to robe us in His finest silks and linens and teach us that His ways are higher than our ways for so long. Will we ever truly let Him? I'm sure going to try to graciously rest in His provision this holiday season. I know I need to cling to Him since He is the only one that can satisfy, and the only thing that truly matters!
Holly is the author of "If Singleness is a Gift, What's the Return Policy?" (Thomas Nelson). She makes her home in Nashville, TN where she lives out her stereotypical role of old maid with her cats McKenna and Noah.