Who knew at least 25% of my life as a mom would be looking for other people’s stuff?
One day you hold a beautiful infant in your arms and 12 years later, you’re answering an endless stream of the same-old, same-old questions.
“Mom, have you seen….?”
“Mom, where did YOU put….” (Because obviously you must have moved it.)
Today alone, I have already found a costume piece, a missing outfit, and a pair of shoes. Plus, I am engaged in an ongoing hunt for a dress that apparently walked out of a closet.
Earlier this week, I sat at the kitchen table helping one daughter with schoolwork while another daughter frantically huffed around the house.
She shuffled papers on the piano. She tossed books around in the book bin. She slammed desk drawers and closet doors.
I prodded her with a few standard investigative questions. “Where did you last have it? When was the last time you saw it?”
She just knew she put it on the piano, 100% absolutely sure . Someone must have moved it.
I let her search while I doggedly continued the study session with my other kid. Finally, though, I looked up at this increasingly stressed child and said, “I feel like I saw you fold that paper up into a square as we headed out the door somewhere. Maybe in your coat pocket? Maybe in your Bible?
Ding ding ding!
I carried that victory around as a moment of superior Mom-ness. Finding something without even getting up to look, that is worth serious parental points right there.
Hunting and finding. Searching and seeking. Looking and tracking.
This Mom-life has made me watchful and aware, and maybe that’s more than just a good Mom-skill. Maybe that’s a heart-skill we need, especially at Christmas.
Because, right there in the busiest of seasons, if we stop being watchful and aware, we can miss out on Christ right in the middle of Christmas.
The shepherds looked up on that holy night. As the angels crowded into the night sky, the shepherds could have run in fear, cowered into rock crevices, hid their faces, and waited for life to return to normal so they could get back to watching those good-old sheep.
Instead, they looked up. They listened. They watched their flocks by night and they watched the angels worship, and they pursued the Savior. They had to leave those Bethlehem hills and follow the instructions they’d been given. A manger. Swaddling clothes. This baby. Christ the Lord.
The wise men looked up, too. They watched the night sky, they studied the stars. They dug deep into ancient texts and lived in awareness.
Then, instead of shrugging off an anomaly among the stars, they packed up belongings, kissed loved ones goodbye, and set off on a journey to who knows where to find really who knows what.
They were searchers, seekers, treasure hunters, and they were finders.
Then there’s Simeon, who waited in the temple to see the Messiah. He watched as people filed in and out, families coming for festivals, couples carrying babies to be dedicated.
He saw the One he’d been waiting for all because he kept his eyes open. He looked and kept looking and never gave up looking until a poor carpenter walked in with a young bride who carried in her arms a baby named Jesus.
Shepherds. Wise Men. Simeon.
They all lived watchfully.
Others missed out. When those wise men arrived in Jerusalem and asked King Herod about this one who was born “King of the Jews,” he called for religious scholars to fill in the blanks. They knew the prophecy. The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
But they didn’t go. They shrugged off the visit from these foreign seekers and stayed right where they were, pursuing their own religious agendas, doing all of the holy things, and yet MISSING it, MISSING Him.
Max Lucado writes,
“They reported to Herod that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Did they not read the prophecy? Yes, but they did not respond to it. You’d think at a minimum they would have accompanied the magi to Bethlehem. The village was near enough. The risk was small enough. At worst they would be out the effort. At best they would see the fulfillment of prophecy. But the priests showed no interest” (Because of Bethlehem p. 78).
During this holy season, how can we choose the better thing, to be aware of God on the move?
How can we wake each day with watchful anticipation, asking God to let us see Him? To not miss Him? To go where He is and to worship Him right there?
Let’s look and let’s listen and live watchfully, so we can see Jesus and we can worship.