It’s December 16th, which means we’re right in the heart of Christmastime. And I’ve been busy doing what most of you have been doing–shopping, planning, baking, going to Christmas concerts, and trying to find ways to bless others at this time of year. And yet, again and again, I’ve felt a recurring prompting not to let my heart and my relationship with Christ get lost in the craziness of the season. Because in the end, I can only fill others’ empty cups when my own has been filled to overflowing. So I’ve been trying to find quiet moments every day to spend at the Lord’s feet, taking in His love and sweetness and power in a way that truly restores and renews and recharges my soul. It’s made the season that much more meaningful for me, and prepared me to share that sweetness and love with others.
In the December 2015 New Era, Elder D. Todd Christofferson talked about connecting with Christ in a way that really touched my heart. Here’s how he explained it:
“Some years ago I heard a radio interview featuring Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Anglican archbishop in South Africa. He had just published a book with his daughter about the reconciliation that had taken place in South Africa following apartheid. Basically, the book’s message is that there is good in all people.
“During the interview the host asked a perceptive, inspired question of Bishop Tutu: “Have you found that your relationship to God has changed as you’ve grown older?”
“Bishop Tutu paused and then said: “Yes. I am learning to shut up more in the presence of God.”
“He recalled that when he prayed in his earlier years, he did so with a list of requests and solicitudes. He would approach heaven with what he called “a kind of shopping list.” But now, he said, “I think [I am] trying to grow in just being there. Like when you sit in front of a fire in winter, you are just there in front of the fire, and you don’t have to be smart or anything. The fire warms you.”
I think that is a lovely metaphor—just sit with the Lord and let Him warm you like a fire in winter. You don’t have to be perfect or the greatest person who ever graced the earth or the best of anything to be with Him.
I hope you will take time this Christmas season to sit for a few quiet moments and let the Savior’s Spirit warm you and reassure you of the worthiness of your service, of your offering, of your life. Sit quietly with that little baby and come away spiritually strengthened and better prepared for all that is going to come later. Let that moment be one of rest and refreshing and reassurance and renewal.