Away in a Manger (Monday)

by Ruth Hallstead

You’ve eaten the turkey, stuffing (or dressing?), cranberry sauce, maybe some pie… and now you’re back on campus. It was great to see family, or maybe just hang out with friends over the break. But classes resume today and it’s crunch time. Project deadlines loom, finals are rapidly approaching, and before you know it you’ll be home (again, or maybe for the first time since summer). In the hectic three weeks ahead of us, it’s easy to forget why we have a break. The babe is “away in the manger”. While Christmas music, decorations, and sales surround us, we can quickly get caught up in the materialistic side of Christmas. When this happens, it’s time to take a break and bring it back to the Lord. We learned about Bold Prayers a few weeks ago, and how powerful starting the day with prayer can be. When school starts to overwhelm us, or when we lose track of Christ in the flurry of the “holiday” season, prayer becomes increasingly important. Prayer allows us to center ourselves, and bring the focus back to where it should have been all along. So in the next few weeks, as you begin to drown under the stress/excitement of projects, tests, shopping, and seeing your family; swim back to the surface. Take a deep breath, and in that moment, pray. Do that as often as necessary, even if your prayer is no more than a word or short phrase, or a scrap of scripture. Additionally, try to set aside a time (even if it’s five minutes while you walk to class) to pray with purpose throughout the day, and remember, “Do not worry about anything, but pray about everything” (Phil. 4:6)