Five years ago I was a fresh-faced college graduate living in Colorado. Convinced I should conquer the theological world, I began setting my sights on the loftiest institution I could imagine- Dallas Theological Seminary. Due to terror of Texas heat and traffic (clearly I am a world-conqueror at heart), I delayed a semester in my enrollment and ended up working at a coffee shop through the Christmas of 2008.
Though I was not physically present on campus that December, DTS consumed every inch of my mind. I ferociously tore through Living by the Book by Dr. Howard Hendricks, leaving sticky notes and highlighter scrawls in my wake. And every week, four new chapel podcasts would arrive in my iTunes account. I would study the grainy footage, memorizing what little I could see of campus and wishing I was one of the apparently sleep-deprived students.
During finals week, as I had been informed by the online Academic Calendar, Chuck Swindoll delivered a Christmas address to the students in the final regular chapel of the semester. I will never forget that message. He exhorted distracted and worn out believers to set aside their preoccupation with their own plans, demands and holiday expectations and to simply reflect. I was cut to the core, for I was so busy dreaming about the future that I forgot to live in the present. And I certainly forgot to remember the past- the glorious realities of the incarnation, life, and works of Christ. I was missing the point of the holiday itself and subsequently losing sight of my calling to ministry.
I would highly encourage you here at the beginning of December to set aside the mounting holiday plans and listen to the below chapel podcast, grainy though the five-year old recording may be…and reflect. Consider the magnificence of the incarnation and the love of a Father who desires that none should perish.
For more discussion on the intersection between faith and our daily lives, be sure to check out our Table Podcast series.