I Have It, If I Can Find It!

Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” You know what that means? I must be completely off my rocker! Why? Because at the start of each holiday season, I resolve that this year will be different. This year, I will really savor this incredible season that celebrates the birth of my Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. This time, I will capture and hold fast to that elusive “joy” about which I sing. And while my intentions are pure, it isn’t long before I find myself repeating the same mistakes of years past. The carefree pace at which I begin the season is soon replaced by one of frenzy, my mind and time become consumed with a seemingly insurmountable list of holiday “to-dos,” and my good cheer is replaced with angst as stress starts to overwhelm me. In the end, I surrender once again to the holiday chaos, and my search for the joy-giving Christ child is derailed.

Author Philip Gulley writes of the time he once ventured into a variety store on a quest to find a nativity set. The store’s motto? “We have it, if we can find it.” Gulley beautifully describes the store owner’s prolonged search and eventual discovery of the nativity set amidst a sea of forty years’ worth of merchandise. And he concludes, “I think back on Wilson Robert’s searching amid bobby pins and yard goods for the baby Jesus. Sometimes our search for the Divine has us poking around in all kinds of corners. Every year at Christmas, I haul our nativity set out of storage and place it on the piano next to our front door. That way, when we’re scurrying around in a frenzy, honoring the birth of the One who told us not to be anxious about anything, we can pause and remember what Christmas is really all about…I swing open my heart and welcome him home.”

I should adopt that variety store’s motto as my own: I have it, if I can find it! For I have Christ with me always, and still there are times when I struggle to find Him amidst a sea of earthly tasks, activities, worries and anxieties. This is particularly ironic at Christmastime, because He is the very “reason for the season” and the One for whom I prepare! So, with the Advent season once again upon me, I determine anew that this year really will be different. This year my insanity will cease, and I’ll remember to swing open my heart and welcome Christ home. Only then will I truly experience the joy about which I sing:
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.