The last eclipse
“Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).”
“You never know what may cause them. The sight of the Atlantic Ocean can do it, or a piece of music, or a face you’ve never seen before. A pair of somebody’s old shoes can do it…. You can never be sure. But of this you can be sure. Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention. They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are, but more often than not God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you to where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go next.”
Frederick Buechner wrote that in “Beyond Words.” It’s a warning to the foolishness of being too busy and missing God’s quiet nudge. Busyness drowns out the nudge.
Perhaps his best quote
The supreme time that is jam-packed with busyness is right now, a dangerous stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is a shame because we miss the point of both holidays in our attempt to celebrate them. And the sad thing about that hamster wheel is that Jesus is the point of these holidays, and like Martha we miss Him altogether in our busyness (Luke 10:38-42). Why are they so significant?
Thanksgiving is a reflection on our past year. It’s meant to contract our busy and divided heart into the united position of thankfulness for His kindnesses. Like the Pilgrim Edward Winslow’s observation, despite all of our past difficulties, “By the goodness of God, we are far from want.” Thankfulness gets you through the messes because you’re acknowledging His sovereignty.
Giving thanks at their arrival
Christmas is different. It’s a reminder that life is not about death, but about being rescued from it. God Himself became flesh to die for our sins and restore us to Himself. The Incarnation; God with us. Like the carol says, “To save us all from Satan’s power when we had gone astray.” One holiday looks back and the other looks forward.
Or as Beuchner wrote about looking forward, “Where…you should go next.” An interesting phrase that is as innocent as a blossom, but as profound as the rings of Saturn. “Where you should go next,” means after you die and your “next” is a titanic choice.
An actual NASA image of Saturn from Cassini
Accepting a Christmas gift is a choice too, but it’s not yours until you receive it. His Christmas gift is a new start, as John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”
So maybe quiet your holiday busyness and just take a walk with Him. Perhaps a stroll in a snowy wood or some lonely path around a lake, and ponder this question about your next:
If I died tonight, am I one hundred percent certain I’d go to Heaven? If you’re not positive, why not receive His Christmas gift?
The Nudge personified