One morning a few weeks ago, I couldn’t stop bumping my head.
Literally, you ask?
We normally have a pretty relaxed morning routine around the Collie house — breakfast, coffee, kids play, kids get dressed, middle kid goes to preschool, little one piddles around the house or colors or does puzzles while Mom and the oldest rock the homeschool.
But that particular morning, we were running a little behind on that routine and when we got to preschool, I wasn’t sure if the doors would still be open on the drop-off side, so I walked TigerTank into class instead while the other two waited in the car. Only, TigerTank didn’t want to stay at school when I walked him in. It was probably a combination of a long, long weekend full of fun activities with a special uncle and his girlfriend, who were in town, plus a few nights of getting to stay up more than a little past bedtime with all the holiday excitement surrounding Thanksgiving, plus this one ornament he discovered on the back of an old coloring book that he really wanted to cut out and hang on the tree.
I seriously think he was worried we’d do it without him.
He was so upset, obviously tired, and a hot mess, and I had two kids waiting in the car. I gave up on convincing him to stay at preschool and decided to just bring him home.
We never have an issue like this at the drop-off spot, so the next few mornings, I was extra-eager to get everyone together and into the van to take TigerTank to preschool in a timely fashion, so that we could follow the normal routine and drop him off.
Our house was filled with
Why aren’t you dressed yet!?!
Get your shoes on! C’mon!
Where is your book bag, for goodness sake!?!?
If you want to come, you have to come now. We are leaving now.
Oh, the world of hurt that we could avoid if we never tried to hurry.
I hurried. And plopped a baby girl still in PJs into her car seat, and scurried round the van to squeeze buckles around a toddler’s puffy winter coat.
And that’s when I whacked my head — hurrying to get into the van and get the kid buckled. I didn’t coordinate my entry into the van and the step up to reach into the back and buckle the kid.
Oh my stars, it hurt. My head throbbed throughout the drive to preschool.
Perhaps less than an hour later, I was trying to hurry my way through a Math lesson. It was a simple review lesson that I wanted to just hurry through so we could move on to “more important” things.
The Belle was piddling around, and found a little box of dominoes, which she promptly opened up, and turned over, meaning Dominoes spilled everywhere.
I huffed with frustration at the kid who didn’t want to move through the math lesson at my pace and the baby who wanted to get into everything.
I bent down under the table to pick up some dominoes and bang — I whacked my head. Yes, again.
And oh my stars, it hurt. Again.
After the second bump, I slowed down to think about what was going on. Like old Rafiki told Simba, The past can hurt, but you either run from it, or learn from it.
Since I didn’t want to bump my ahead again, I decided to pay attention.
A week later, I was still thinking. I can be a slow learner.
But here’s one conclusion:
I have an idea in my mind about what’s important.
That idea is often wrong.
I was rushing through getting the kids in the car to keep in time with my agenda for the day. And I was rushing through that Math lesson because I had a Christmas agenda and I wanted to get on with it. We had a library trip planned that afternoon and I wanted to bring our friends at the library cookies.
Sure, showing people you appreciate them is good, and thoughtful at this time of year. But is it more important than loving my kids, and handling them in a way that shows them that they matter, that they have value, and they are more important than how I feel if I have to arrive somewhere late?
Is getting the kids into the car to get them there on time more important than slowing down and looking them in the eyes and telling them you love them before sending them out into the world?
We’re here, Christmas is nearly here — and we’re celebrating the coming. And what does this coming mean? Before Jesus came, a few things were holy, a lot of things were common, and some were downright unholy.
But what did Paul say? Whether you eat or drink — whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.
I bump my head when I fail to remember: this too, can be for the glory of God.
This is the Good News: Ready or Not, He comes.
Will we make room? Be a space that welcomes the unexpectedly glorious?
We don’t need to be in a hurry. We don’t need to have everything prepared. Nothing we do or leave undone will change the fact that Jesus has come, He does come, and He will come again.
When we’re bumping our heads, He comes to remind us to slow down, enjoy the moments we’re given instead of hurrying through them to get to the next thing.
His glorious goodness arrives into the humble Bethlehem stables of our souls. And He whispers the truth we so desperately need to hear in our brokenness:
God is with us. Though we fail and fall short. Though we hurry and fuss and holler at our kids. Though we get angry in traffic. Though we’re selfish, prideful, and pretty much a mess.
God-with-us comes to find us. Comes to do for us what we can’t do ourselves.
Grace to be still. Grace to keep going. He comes with great grace.
And the whole incredible story starts so small, like a single candle being lit, one tiny flame growing brighter.
Like one tiny little baby being born in a remote corner of the world.
Be still for a moment, friends. Expect to see Him in unexpected places. Take a deep breath, be ready to make room. Let the good news that your performance isn’t make-or-break soak in.
Soak in this: He is the Gift from the Giver Who Keeps on Giving, and He is with us.