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Christmas Preparations – Haste Makes Waste—or Does It? by Ann Walker

On the day that I started writing my Christmas blog entry, I originally intended to write about the final details of planning for Jesus’ birth. However, I decided to change my topic somewhat as my plans were sidetracked on that morning. As I sat in traffic (who does work on the roads in Western Pennsylvania during the month of December?!?), I decided to send a text to let my boss know that I was running late. Little did I know…I responded to a group text! As soon as I hit the “send” key, I realized I had sent the message to seven people! Ugh! So, I did what any good Christian would do—I sent a quick response back to everyone with a request for all to pray that the traffic would move faster! Wouldn’t you know it—the traffic started to clear. Yay! That “haste” didn’t make too much waste. Prayers—even the simplest ones—work—all in due time.

Once at work, I started opened my emails. I feel obliged to admit that I painstakingly take great pride in the marketing emails that I send out. I write them. I put them aside. I go back to them and re-read them. I correct any errors that I can find. I add a few things to the mix or take out a few words. I put them aside again. This could go on for several days in-between other activities if I am fortunate enough to have some buffer time. Last week, I did not have any buffer time. Christmastime is our busy season at the store. Between greeting and assisting customers, answering phone calls, processing online orders, and running packages to the post office, I may also have products that have just arrived and need to be received, and I might be able to squeeze in some time to ticket products and place them in the store. Finally, I get back to working on the emails and blogs. By the end of the day last week, I was able to get my weekly email written but sadly couldn’t get to the blog (the first time since I started working on them). I was especially proud to have finished the email before closing up shop. When I came to work the next morning (the same morning where I sent the group text), I looked at the email I had sent out. What was staring me in the face? A typo! OH NO! It was small—hardly noticeable—but I knew it was there!

Is the world going to end? At some point, but probably not because of my typo. In preparing for Confession last week, I realized that at times, I can be prideful. These two events (texting and emailing) knocked me down a few pegs. What does this tell me? I need to slow down. Haste makes waste, right? Wrong. My haste made me realize that God gives me the reason to write blogs. I want to honor Him in my works. I am grateful that I am blessed with the opportunity to write.

I decided the best course of action was for me to get back to focusing on the real reason for the season--which is not rushing around. It is to prepare for Jesus’ birth! The season can also be a time for taking stock of all the people we have in our lives that help us get through the busyness of it all.

I am grateful for the people who provide support when I realize I can’t do it all:

  • Those who don’t judge when I make silly mistakes
  • Those who encourage me with comments that I am making an impact with my work and writings
  • Those who set me back on the right path when I stumble
  • Those who are glad to walk beside me amidst these somewhat unsettling times and help me to spread joy
  • Those who forgive me when I slip up and cause unintended discomfort, and
  • Those who remind me that ‘tis the season to return to confession to admit my failings which gives me strength to set things right so I can move forward in God’s peace.

We are all in this together. We can find many ways to support each other. That, to me, is a great reason for the season!

As we finalize our Christmas plans, let us forge ahead with the knowledge that Jesus will arrive to bring peace, love, and a joy that no-one else can fill. Rest assured; Jesus also sends us angels in the form of people around us to help us move towards His light:

  • Family members
  • Friends near and far
  • Co-workers
  • People we encounter as we run to the store
  • Fellow-travelers as we make our way towards our destinations (no matter if we are moving along effortlessly or are stuck in traffic along with them), and
  • People who clear the roads to make our travels safe when inclement weather is encountered.

May we be aware that all of the people around us can make an impact on our lives, and we can impact them as well. It is through our everyday encounters and how we react to others within various situations that have the opportunity of leading us closer to God. It is the way we react to things that can help us to *NOT* run around in a fog of haste. God can make good out of everything. If we let Him into our lives, nothing is wasted.

Here’s a big thank you to all who are in this journey with us. Merry Christmas!

- By Ann Walker

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