By Pam Otto
While sitting in my family room today, I happened to notice the random collection of signs that surrounded me…various words that were hanging on a wall or sitting on a side table. In just one room I saw ”Kindness Matters”, “It is well with my Soul”, “The Lord is my Strength”, “Be Thankful”, and the most recent addition which states, “He will be our Peace.” Does anyone else decorate their homes with favorite quotes or verses?
I’ve always been a lover of inspiring thoughts…I love the way words can exhort, encourage and even convict us…but what happens when we get so comfortable in our homes, or in our lives, that we don’t seem to notice the inspiration anymore? What happens when we simply overlook the statements that are meant to encourage us and ground us?
There are a few verses in the Old Testament that talk about the importance of keeping God’s Word in front of them, even tying them as symbols on their hands or forehead or writing them on the door frames of their homes. This was intended to prevent forgetfulness and to remember and recall what God has said. It was used to make God’s word familiar.
It seems that the Christmas season is one of those times of year when we intend to stay focused on the right thing, but can often get easily sidetracked. Before you know it, we’ve bought into the hurried pace of the world and hardly notice when our peace is gone, our joy is lost and our focus is off course. The sign “He will be our peace” doesn’t seem big enough for December.
My desire this Christmas is to be a “noticer”…an observer… to be fully present while taking in the sights, smells and sounds of Christmas. I don’t want to overlook the moments of hearing the inspiring carols that remind us of the birth of Jesus. I want to notice the bright lights that decorate and bring a festive glow to our neighborhoods. I want to take in the beauty of the season and notice the countless ways that God shows up in the middle of our full and busy lives. I want to connect with others and share the gift of Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas. I want the peace that comes from spending time with Jesus and deeply knowing and leaning on His powerful Word. I want to notice Him.
Do you want to stay connected to the right things this month? Will you join me? Let’s become “noticers” together. Let’s stay mindful of the words and signs around us and breathe in the Christmas season with a thoughtful pace and a peaceful soul. Lets “Love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5
“Commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy. 6:6-8