Do you?

Audeamus| Let us dare.
Audeamus| Let us dare

No man ever comes into a realization of the best things of God, who does not, upon the Godward side of his life, learn to walk alone with God.

…Let God isolate us. I do not mean the isolation of a monastery. In this isolating experience He develops an independence of faith and life so that the soul no longer depends on the continual help, prayer, faith or care of others. Such assistance and inspiration from the other members are necessary and have their place in the Christian’s development, but there comes a time when they act as a direct hindrance to the individual’s faith and welfare. God knows how to change the circumstances in order to isolate us. And once we yield to Him and He takes us through an experience of isolation, we are no longer dependent on those around us, although we still love them as much as before. Then we realize He has done a new work within us, and that the wings of our souls have learned to beat the upper air.

We must dare to be alone.

– L.B.C.

Why this at Christmas?

Not that I wish for you to be alone, friends. But sometimes, it’s when we pack our lives with events–going from dinner, to reunion, to potluck, to gatherings, to parties, to coffee (as I have done, especially around Christmas and New Years)–that we forget how to be alone. Or who we are and what we should do when we’re not with other people. Sometimes, these get-togethers are at the point where it becomes a long list of names and people to meet, and I no longer enjoy them. Why is this?

1) Is this constant need of having something to do the result of fear of being alone?

There is a time to be alone.
Alone, not to indulge on self-pity or vain self-reflection, but alone with God.

Here, we can learn what He needs us to learn. Here, we learn that our faith does not depend on the context or on leaders and peers (who waver), but that it ought to depend on God alone (Whom is constant). And that we have a God who is able and willing to teach us Himself–through His Words, or the circumstance in which He places us. [1]

2)  Have we forgotten the whom and why of Christmas?
Yes, sure, gift-giving is nice. Spending time with family and friends are nice. Remembering the poor is nice, too.
But is not the purpose of Christmas to remember the Joy to the World–Christ, who came 2000+ years ago.

(From Arthur Garrison, The Morning Call)

Christmas is the celebration of the fact that man can know, believe and accept (just as a side note, these words are not synonyms) perfect forgiveness by accepting and receiving the sacrifice of Jesus.

Christmas is a celebration of faith in a just God who sacrificed his Son to rectify man to Himself and who settled the harsh requirement of judgment of sin and the evil of mankind. Mankind had hell to pay, and God sent His Son to pay it…

…It should not be forgotten that it’s also a time of celebration that mankind has received blessing (getting what one does not deserve) and grace (not getting what one does deserve).

So friends, don’t let the hectic-ness of the ‘holidays’ get to you.
Yes, enjoy the time with your friends and family who have traveled far to spend with you.
But remember why we’re celebrating. Take some time to reflect on what God’s gift of salvation means to you.
Think about where you stand today with God.
Does how you live your life please Him?
If not, what would He want you to change?

And hey, remember, when we walk alone with God, we’re not alone.

Merry Christmas, friends!

ITL

[1] I don’t have this ‘figured out,’ but the passage above gave me comfort when I was reflecting on this earlier last week. I think I always have this fear of starting something new and being on my own. But I’m always reminded that I’m not alone.
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