You know how I can tell we’re approaching the Christmas season? I find myself thumbing through a catalog. A catalog. Of. Meat.
Potted meat. Pickled meat. Fried and dried and – maybe even poached meat. That just takes us to about page five. Then there’s meat by the log. Meat in a bar. Meat on a stick. Meat in a jar. And okay, that might sound a little Dr. Seuess-y-cutesy, but I get halfway through the catalog and I have to tell you, I’m pretty much meated out.
So here we are, heading into the season in which we really can end up meeting ourselves coming and going. And clearly we can also end up meating ourselves coming and going. More and more calories. More and more busyness. More.
There’s wisdom in keeping an eye out for the “more.” Sneaky clutter can fill our stomachs, our schedules – our lives. It’s the kind of “more” that can steal our focus from what’s important. It does it by rushing us to the busyness of what’s immediate instead of waiting for the blessedness of what’s vital.
We tend to think of ourselves as mature followers of Christ as long as we’re not throwing big-baby fits. But maturity includes so much more than that. It includes making wise choices – with our resources, with our time, with our focus. Let’s face it, some of us make more big-baby-choices during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season than any other time of the year.
How can we be grown up about our “more”? Jesus. Eyes off our own schedules and wants and everything fleshy. Eyes on Christ. It was because of selfish fleshliness that Paul said the Christians in Corinth couldn’t have solid spiritual food. “I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ … because you are still fleshly” (1 Cor. 3:1, 3). He said in verse 2, “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food.” Put away the catalogs. No meat for these people.
Paul warns later in that same passage that, “No one should deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks he is wise in this age, he must become foolish so that he can become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Cor. 3:18-19).
It’s sad to get caught up in the busyness, thinking we’re accomplishing works of value, then discover we’ve been foolishly lying to ourselves about what’s important the whole time.
The wisdom we need is only found in Jesus. Time to put away that self-deceived baby stuff and sink our teeth into some meat. As we seek the Lord, He will give us the wisdom and direction we need to sort out our to-do’s. It’s only in Him that our choices can count. It’s only in Him that we’re able to identify the foolish temporary and then trade it for the will of God. We don’t need that other kind of “more.” We only need more Jesus.
That’s exactly what will make our season … well … more. But more in every good way – in ways we can see and ways we can’t. It’s more than meets the eye, as it were. You might even say, it’s more than “meats” the eye.
Rhonda is a pastor’s wife, happily married and living in the St. Louis area. She is a humor columnist for publications in the U.S. and Canada and is the author of 10 books with more on the way. She says she will keep cranking them out as long as the Lord allows. –And the psychoses hold out.