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The shepherds went in haste

by davesandel on January 1st, 2019

The shepherds went in haste

New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw this, they proclaimed the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed. And Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. ­ – From Luke 2

It’s pretty wonderful to reprise the Christmas story a week later. Already it kind of seems like old news, as much as I don’t like that about my ragged mind. But Mary, she kept all these things. Mary, she pondered them in her heart. She held them close to her chest like delicate crystal, being sure as she could be that nothing she held there, in her heart, would break, or be lost, or lose its shine. Sweeter than honey, more precious than gold.

The calendar Miles gave us for Christmas reprises his year. He feeds goats, sits at table with his favorite bear Furball, holds his red crayon carefully just like a big boy, and cradles a barely bit apple in his lap while the rest of him sleeps in the car. He looks out the window of a Japanese bullet train, gathers Easter eggs and spring sticks, stares at fish who are staring at him, and sports his first-ever haircut over fancy blue shades.

“Say cheese,” Miles!” He says cheese on the park train, cheese in the pumpkins, cheese on the first day of pre-school. He wears a kimono and jumps in the pool (not at the same time). And just like that, the old year is gone and the new year dawns.

Sometimes I fly when I need to sit still, like most Enneagram 7’s. I try too hard. Today my emailed “Enneathought for the day” is “Try giving up pursuing happiness and instead be fully present.” I think that means for me, “Sit still and ponder all these things in your heart.”

I don’t have to be unaware of the future and the past to be fully present. But I do, quite often, have to sit more still. And I thank Mary and her biographer, Luke, for her example.

We’ve shared these words with each other for thousands of years, Lord. They are beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life: The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you, the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

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