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FullSizeRender-3My calendar is full and getting fuller as the fall season picks up momentum.  Work responsibilities move like a rising tide with appointments, meetings, reports, problems and initiatives.  Woven inside the fabric of the ministry is life at church, home, friends and the events of the season.

Did you catch that last one?  Halloween is coming.  Or for many of us it is the Harvest Season.

Not long after that Thanksgiving is waiting to get us even more busy than ever.  Family events, travel, food and reunions line up for attention.  Home decorations increase as the fall season moves deeper toward winter.

Of course, Christmas is the zenith of all events as the calendar year closes out.  The decorations are the pinnacle of everyone’s planning.  Just about everyone looks forward to Christmas.

Organizing our lives to make room for each of these calendar events crowds even the most gifted of administrators.  Unless we get a jump on the forecast we will miss out or even overlook important opportunities.

Our church, Houston First Baptist has a spectacular Christmas program called “Celebrate!”  Note the exclamation point.  It is fitting.

FullSizeRender-2Getting tickets for this sensation production is not difficult but it calls for a little planning.  Ticket sales opened up on Saturday October 17 at 8:00AM.  When I saw the notice, my lips pursed tightly.

I could make it to church to buy tickets that day, but I needed to be an hour away for a speaking engagement that very morning.  My mind was organizing that morning carefully.  If I showed up at church by 7:30AM and got my tickets by 8:45AM I could hurry to my speaking engagement in time for a 15 minute early arrival.

In my mind I was certain that I could be one of the earliest in line on a Saturday morning.  Who wants to get up early on a Saturday to buy tickets for a Christmas program that is months away?

That strategy was way off the mark.  The conversation that spawned that plan had no clue about the interest of Christmas even in October.  Hundreds of people who were in line before I showed up testify to my tactical limitations.

At least I made it to my 10AM speaking appointment on time.  But, the wait for Christmas tickets sure shows the joy of the season.  Merry Christmas, even in October!

photo credit: brucefong photography

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without getting ready for Christmas.  It is the signal for gearing up for one of the busiest times of the year. Oh, don’t get me wrong, Christmas will always be one of my favorite times of the year.  In fact  the busyness is one of the elements that makes this favored time of the year very special. 

My mind finds every opportunity to give me pause in a very busy life to enjoy this special season and the reason for it.  It is also a time to reconnect with family and friends.  Letting special people know how much they mean to me and how I value them in my life is a treat. 

One of the regular stops during the holidays is the U.S. Post Office.  I need to mail some items to family and friends in distant places.  Yvonne wrapped up some items and I was off to mail them.

I go the this government facility infrequently enough that I was trying to guess their holiday hours.  On a hope I showed up at the post office at 8:45AM.  My heart sank when I saw a line of people waiting to get in.

When I strolled up to the end of the line, I could tell that the office was not yet opened.  I asked one of the line standers and she told me that the office opened at 9AM.  Wow, I was more interested in making my way to my office and running one more errand before I would just wait in line.

Off I drove, finished an errand and stopped at another Post Office branch nearer my office.  There I had to feed the parking meter.  When  I walked into the federal building the line was massive.  I had left money for 8 minutes in the meter. 

Assessment was easy.  There was no way that 8 minutes would cover me so I returned the meter and bumped up my time to 22 minutes.  When I returned to the line in the Post Office, only one more customer had been added to the already lengthy number of unhappy impatient customers.

There was a lot of grumbling in the line.  People were not in the Christmas spirit.  I smiled at a few of the Grinches who only returned my cheer with an uninterested glower of apathy.

I finished with my transaction, thanked the clerk and cheerfully expressed, “Merry Christmas!”  She looked like she was going to go into shock.  Stammering back, “Uh, oh…yeah, same to you.”

photo credit: google image