I Didn’t Want to Know That!

Stumbling from the bedroom early this morning I clicked on the television. The first words uttered by the news anchorman were that Christmas is exactly two weeks away. I didn’t want to know that! Truly I didn’t.

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Yes, there is a decorated tree in our family room and the outside lights are up. That makes it sound like I’m well prepared, but guess what? I’m not. That’s just an annual trick to give the illusion that everything is under control. As is the case almost every year at this time, my cards aren’t written, the baking isn’t done, the shopping’s not finished and the gifts that need to be mailed out of town aren’t.

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But this evening I will join a group of carolers from our church singing for shut-ins and my heart will feel ready for Christmas. Advent is all about preparation, not of home but of heart. These first two weeks of Advent have focused on Hope and Peace. The next two will be about Joy and Love. When I return to my cards, baking and gifts, I will be remembering with joy those for whom these items are meant, and giving thanks to Him whose Love created Christmas.

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Silence, Solitude, Sanctuary and the Son

Sunshine broke through the overcast yesterday, scattering light on the evergreens where crystal droplets hang. Most of the autumn colour has disappeared, at least here at Wildwood, and the crunch of leaves has been replaced by a softness underfoot where sodden gold and brown languish in puddles.

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God has blessed every season with unique beauty.

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MossA recent gardening show on TV featured a House of Prayer in Little Rock, Arkansas that has been designed to provide a tranquil environment for contemplation and prayer. Zen gardens – serene Buddhist-inspired minimalistic landscapes designed to encourage meditation – are popular. It seems the search for a location where peace and tranquility exist is universal.

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But as I stood on the deck with my face upturned to the fleeting sunlight I was reminded that my soul is warmed by the Son of God and that true peace and tranquility can only be experienced right where we are.

“Be still and know that I am God.”

[Psalm 46:10]

Tuesday Twosome

 

I’m ranting today, not once but twice.

 

The first frustration is war. Since this is Remembrance Day I am remembering not one war but many. I am remembering that over a hundred thousand Canadian lives have been lost in wars. Members of my family have done their part to try and counteract oppression and preserve freedom. But when the present conflict eventually ends, another will undoubtedly rise up to take its place and the killing will continue. I’ve always believed that fighting never solves anything. It only proves who is the biggest bully. We yearn for peace but don’t know how to achieve it. If only all of mankind would stop and listen to that “still small voice”—the one telling us how real peace will be found.

 

The second frustration is ineffective service. I’m having wireless internet problems this week, unable to maintain and now even obtain a signal wirelessly on my laptop computer. After first contacting our server and determining that the modem is working well, I contacted the company who makes my Belkin wireless router. That person, while probably a competent technician, had such a heavy accent that I could not understand much of what he said. I struggled to decipher and comply with his various instructions but when the technician was ready to take his leave I wasn’t confident that the problem had been solved. It hadn’t. Within seconds of terminating the call, I was back offline. And so the router is disconnected and our three computers are presently taking turns accessing the internet by being directly plugged into the modem, one at a time, until I muster the courage to phone for Belkin tech support once more. I’m not ready to face that frustration again quite yet.

 

Instead I’m going to retreat to the kitchen and bake our Christmas fruitcakes. I don’t need a techie’s assistance to do that job successfully, and while I assemble the ingredients I’m going to listen to Christmas carols – the ones that proclaim “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men”!