I have to admit, this is one of the longest stretches I’ve gone without posting anything. The holidays always seem to take their toll. My daughter came home from college and had surgery on her shoulder, then soon after we went to Amarillo for Christmas. I’ve been on the computer during this time, but it was mainly to read other blogs…people I want to stay up with. Never seem to have time to write anything, but a lot has been on my mind. I won’t share everything now, but maybe over the course of time it’ll all come out.

During this Christmas season one thing I noticed: it never really felt like Christmas. Maybe it was because Christmas was on Sunday this year, or maybe it was the 70+ degree temperatures, or maybe it was spending money we didn’t have on presents for people who didn’t need anything. I don’t know. I couldn’t get into the spirit of Christmas, even the true meaning of this Holy season. My worship felt as plastic and hollow as the worship of the wise men we placed in the nativity scene on top of our TV cabinet. It is a very old nativity set, and the wise men are painted with royal colors, bearing their rich gifts to the Christ child. I know historically the wise men are out of context at the birth, but we still bring out the set every year, carefully unwrapping each piece and placing them just so. Every year we do this, and usually I don’t give it much thought. But this year I felt like one of the wise men. Outside painted in the rich clothing of a child of God, yet underneath still made of plaster – fragile and hollow and easily chipped. And the present I brought to Him? Also fragile and hollow and one I never turn loose of. I just bring it out once a year to “celebrate His birth.” The rest of the year my faith is like the wise man: packed away in the attic hoping it won’t get chipped and reveal what a plastic person I really am.

I’m having a crisis of faith at the moment. Not a crisis of faith in God and His sovereignty, but a crisis of faith in what I believe and why I believe it. A crisis of faith in that I’m tired of truly not understanding Grace, of not understanding how to “do church,” of not understanding Holiness – God’s or mine. I’m tired of not loving God with ALL my heart, and soul, and mind, and body. I’m tired of not loving others as myself.

And so the new year begins. May we all find what we are longing for, what we are desiring, what we are searching for, in this land of Canaan we call 2006.

His peace on you all.