by Linda Cox

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.

1 Corinthians 10:12

The book was too good to put down! But the beautiful fall day beckoned me outside for a walk. I wanted to do both! So I did. I walked AND read the book at the same time. All went well till the end of our lane, when my foot slipped on the edge of a new gully left by the night’s rain. I fell hard on my knees with a cry of pain. And the thought of “idiot” bouncing around in my head.

I sheepishly hobbled home and put ice on my “boo-boo.” When I was finally brave enough to peek, I found one skinned knee worthy of any five-year old.

My husband called me stupid. My BFF, after she quit rolling on the floor in laughter, said there was a devotion in there somewhere. I think it was her nice way of saying “and what have you learned from this?” (BTW, thanks to my 92-year-old mother-in-law who later shoveled enough rocks to fill up the gully so I wouldn’t do it again.)

As I thought about it, I remembered something I read in Oswald Chambers’ My Upmost for His Highest. He wrote that “the things that are right and noble and good . . . keep us back from God’s best . . . . It is the good that hates the best.”

I smiled. Walking is good. Reading is good. But together? Not exactly the best!

Then I thought of the season which is rapidly approaching. How many of us will sacrifice the best of Christmas once again this year as we lose ourselves in all the good things this season has to offer. Buying presents for loved ones is good. So is sending Christmas cards. And what about cookies and candy? How can they not be good! And the decorated homes and trees are so beautiful. Listening to Christmas music is joyful and good. As are all the gatherings with family and friends.

Yet how many of us arrive at Christmas exhausted, so busy that we have “fallen down” and missed out on the BEST part of Christmas?

We don’t have to give up all the good things. But by keeping them in the proper perspective and focusing on the birth of Christ as the real reason we do them, we’ll find God’s peace and joy in all our activities.

So, as we make our journey to the manger this Christmas, may the true “reason for the season” guide us in all we do to celebrate the birth of Christ.