Monday, Third Week of Advent
December 14, 2009

"Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."--Philippians 4:6 (NRSV)

The Way

I was looking for my Bible the other day. Not the family Bible, not the Good News New Testament we have in our home, or the many other editions that are kept in corners or on book shelves; an edition that was a special gift from my Mom, called The Way. Over the years I have made a mess of this book by scribbling in it and marking passages that I found to be inspirational. The purpose of my search on this day was to find a previously marked passage which I have read many times during past years, a passage that has always brought me comfort. I needed comfort now. But, I could not locate this book in any of the spots I usually keep such things. I agonized over where I had placed it and then wondered why it had been so long since I opened its pages or even noticed it was missing.
After looking for this book for the better part of a morning, I came to realize that I may have lost my way in more ways than one. (Yes, pun intended.) Life gets busy; we move in many directions and run on auto pilot when we begin to feel overwhelmed by the many little speed bumps we encounter. But auto pilot is not always programmed for God's plan.  We lose track of the voice of God urging us to follow and then we begin to lose our way. Advent is the perfect time for us to hop back on His path. If we really think about God's sacrifice in sending us His only Son, our daily trials and tribulations appear so small. As we prepare our hearts and our homes to celebrate the birth of Christ this holy season, let's not lose our way when we can't find the perfect gift or get the tree decorated like the picture in the Martha Stewart magazine. These things are only momentary. God's gift to us is everlasting.
The passage I was looking for is from Philippians 4:6 and reads "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank Him for His answers." So, when you feel your anxiety level rising over the next several weeks, make Philippians 4:6 your mantra and leave the worrying to Him.
P.S. I found my special Bible. It was tucked away in a safe corner. Don't lose your way this holiday season. Keep your hearts open so that you will be blessed by receiving the best gift of all -- Jesus. Remember, He's the reason for the season.

--Laurie Russell
Associate Director, Alumni Relations