What Is Blocking Your View?

“They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear…”   Ezekiel 12:2
12 7 15 008 with word overlay     I never tell my kids where we are going.  Instead, I call every outing an “adventure.”  I just tell them what to wear, what to bring, and when to get in the car.  So when we went to Crossing Life Church’s narrated hay ride this past Saturday night, my kids had no idea what to expect.
     For forty-five minutes we waited in line in the cold.  But it was a beautiful night, a splendor of stars in the sky.  They had hot cocoa to sip, and we took turns getting out of line to warm up at the bonfire.  Finally, after our long wait, we climbed into the wagon with excitement.
     It was so fun!  They had choreographed the pre-recorded narration and music so that as the wagon approached each different lit up scene in the woods, the music matched the display: “You’re A Mean One” played for The Grinch, “Let It Go” played for Anna, Elsa and Olaf, etc.
     The climax was a live nativity at the peak of a hill.  They stopped the hay ride here so people could either gaze at the scene in awe from the wagon, get off and look up close, or warm up at another bonfire blazing on the other side of the hill.  My husband and Mason were on the bonfire side of the wagon.  Mason was mesmerized by the fire’s glow and the kids toasting marshmallows.
     When I tore my eyes away from the Baby Jesus, I asked Mason what he thought of the live nativity.  Come to find out, he had no idea it existed!  Everyone on my side had blocked his view.  I found myself saying, “Oh Mason.  Come look.  This is the whole point in coming.” 

     I could hear “this is the whole point” echoing in my head.  I think God has been whispering that to me for weeks, as I put my focus on our outing to get our Christmas tree, decorating my house, planning fun activities, making lists of gifts to buy, and on and on.  All of those things piled up, one on top of the other, creating a wall that blocked my view of “the whole point” of Christmas: the birth of Jesus Christ.
     Can you imagine standing outside, on a cold December night in New England, for almost an hour, and then missing the grand finale of what you came for?  If I’m not careful, if I spend my entire Advent distracted by the glow of decorations and gifts, I am going to miss the grand finale too, one that’s far more spectacular than any hay ride or fire works display.  Yes, Jesus is here with us every day of the year.  But I have to stop and recognize the time of year we anticipate His birth into this world as a helpless and humble baby, just so He could save us all from this messy and troubled world.
     My hope is that you’re all having a deep and meaningful Advent.  But if not, if you haven’t found Him yet, what is blocking your view?

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12 thoughts on “What Is Blocking Your View?

  1. So many things that I am allowing to block my view–decorating, lists, cards and procrastination. You were right about leaving the Infant Jesus in view instead of hiding Him until Christmas Eve. It does help me to focus on the true meaning of Advent. Thank you, Claire, for the reminder! You are blessed with the gift of seeing what is important.
    Lots of love, xoxo

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  2. I needed this post tonight Claire. I am so bogged down with the To Do list that I am losing sight of the reason that this season exists…..Everything has become a “Have to” this week, even the Jesse Tree. It is time to reset, pray and focus on all that really matters….Thank you!

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  3. So true. When I see people trampling each other on black Friday I shake my head and say ” what happened to the meaning of the season, Christmas ? “.

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    • What a great comment Paul! Black Friday IS the epitome of missing the whole point. So it’s so wonderful when I stumble upon events like this one that really highlight that Christmas is all about Jesus’ birth. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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  4. I worked at the Christmas at the Crossing handing out the hot chocolate and marshmellows. It was a cool night but so exciting and I’m so glad you wrote this blog. We’ve been working on making this event better and better each year and hope you come back to experience more bon fires and even a greater time with your family next year!

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    • I was so impressed by this event, Laura, and all the hard work involved. Thank you for being a part of it. I probably crossed paths with you at the hot cocoa table (I was the one who bought hot chocolate with a $2 bill 🙂 We will be back next year without a doubt!

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  5. We were there too! How did we not see you, we were in that line for over an hour! I love finding activities like that (and celebrating Baby Jesus’s birthday today) to bring us back to the real meaning of Christmas 🙂

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