This time of year is all about being prepared. Christmas has a deadline that seems to sneak up on most of us every year.
There have been years, like this one, where I have been prepared for Christmas. Coming down to the last few days, I’m not panicked about still finding that one main gift for Lily.
But this year may be more of an exception for me. I don’t remember feeling this ready for Christmas very often.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who has my shopping done by mid-September. But this year, I bought Lily’s main gift in early November.
That might not be early for some people, but for me that’s like buying Christmas presents in July – it was a very early purchase.
And I wrapped things up a full five days before the big day. For me that’s so liberating because other things are also pressing on me.
One thing I was not prepared for this week was my board meeting. I had all the reports and data ready for the meeting but it was the presentation, the flow of the meeting that I was not prepared for.
I thought I had scheduled enough time to put some thought into how long to spend on each section and item, and how to present one new thing I wanted to start with the board.
But I ran into a few unexpected and unplanned encounters and I was late. I was only prepared on paper and not completely prepared to lead that meeting.
As for how the meeting went, let’s just say I didn’t sleep very well that night and I was still kicking myself the next day.
The funny thing about being prepared for Christmas is that we know when it is every year. It comes as no surprise.
The stores advertise well and offer bargains before Christmas to get you to come in and buy your presents.
We’re also becoming programmed by the US to start thinking about Christmas shopping at the end of November. Canadian stores even offer Black Friday sales the same weekend they do in the States … and we don’t even have a holiday then!
There really is no reason not to be prepared for Christmas every year. Yet if we procrastinate, and finish just at the deadline, we probably won’t change. It will become our pattern and we’ll run the risk of not being prepared for Christmas year after year.
Here’s the thing: Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of Christ, His coming into the world. It may feel like a deadline, but it’s really a beginning – a beginning that leads to a deadline. Christ came into the world so that we could be prepared for the end of our time here. He did all the work for us by dying on the cross for our sin and rising to bring us a relationship with His Father. Our deadline is what we need to be prepared for and to not put off; we never know what tomorrow will bring. It’s the most important deadline there is for each of us. Be prepared; be prepared well in advance.
Question: What’s the deadline that has you stressed right now? Leave your comments below.