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Summary: Do you ever feel like life is flying by, out of control? You want to get off, but it is like a merry-go-round that is moving too fast. Jumping off can hurt more than staying on! So you just hold on and keep flying. I think we have that problem year rou

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Do you ever feel like life is flying by, out of control? You want to get off, but it is like a merry-go-round that is moving too fast. Jumping off can hurt more than staying on! So you just hold on and keep flying. I think we have that problem year round now, but it is at its worst at Christmas time. But what can we do about it? Many of us would like to stop, or at least pause briefly, but we can’t.

I was talking to another preacher about this sermon. He called on his way home from work last Monday and we talked about this sermon. Skip rush, find rest. The first question was, “how do you do that.” My friend said, “probably the only way to do that is to ignore Christmas altogether.” And that is true, but since that isn’t realistic, we thought we had better look to something else.

So that got me thinking, maybe we just need to find pockets of rest. But where do we find rest in the midst of rush? As strange as this may sound, all of that got me thinking about birth, which obviously is a part of Christmas, but it got me thinking about what has happened with birth in our time. To explain, let me tell you a story.

I remember when I first found out that Marilyn was pregnant. I thought, okay, we have 9 months to prepare for this. But I never dreamed how much went into that 9 months. We were living in a 2-bedroom apartment and we had to turn our guest bedroom into a nursery. Marilyn had a special cradle that had been in her family for years that she wanted to have. You buy bassinets and car seats and clothes. People give you gifts and ask questions that are way too personal. I don’t know why a pregnancy empowers them to do that, but it does. But that is not all. You go to these birthing classes. They were Lamaze classes back then, but I understand they have come up with a better idea now. You go to these classes and they teach you how to breathe and how to focus. I listened carefully because it was my first time and because my dad had delivered my middle brother at home. It happened so fast with my mom that she couldn’t make it to the hospital. Now I know that was not something that would effect Marilyn, but since we lived 60 miles from the hospital, the possibility went through my mind. I could just see myself stopping on the back roads on the way to the hospital and delivering my son. That might sound touching to you, but it wasn’t a pleasant thought to me!

During that time we made a lot of trips between Caldwell and Zanesville. There was a lot of anticipation and I wouldn’t call those 9 months restful.

To call it a rush would be a much more accurate description. It looked calm compared to Taylor and Trent’s birth, but I didn’t know any better at the time.

So the day finally came. I was doing a premarital counseling session in our apartment and when they left Marilyn said, “I think we are going to have a baby tonight.” We headed off to the hospital and Jordan was born the next morning on his due date. And it seemed like for the first time in 9 months, we were able to rest … temporarily! Soon you were back home and right back into the rush. Life would never be the same again!

One thing I noticed is that you are only in the hospital for two days, and that is not even two full days. If you deliver on a Tuesday night, you are probably going to get discharged on Thursday morning.

To be honest with you, I don’t think that is enough. They used to do 5 days, but insurance companies stepped in and they have cut it back to 2 unless it is a C-section. Now I know that most women want to go home soon, but it seems to me that the rest you get there is needed.

I told you that story because I think the same thing has happened with Christmas. You really can’t get away from the rush, that is part of it and has been for years. In fact, some must enjoy that because so many go shopping the day after Thanksgiving knowing that it is going to be a rush.

But there was a time when you got to Christmas and it all slowed down. You would have the week between Christmas and New Year’s sort of as the holiday. It is not that you didn’t work during that time, but things slowed down significantly. But like those hospital stays it has been shortened because things are planned in between. Part of that is our society. Since miles separate families, you find yourself traveling from one relative to another during that time. We are in that boat too, but we have always made sure to wait until the day after Christmas to start to travel. That makes us miss the first day of school after the holidays, but we think it is worth it. We traveled on Christmas day once before the boys were born, but we decided that wasn’t a good idea.

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