And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. Luke 2:8-18 (NIV)
Just when I was thinking that I had missed the holiday frenzy this year, I got a wild idea to buy new living room furniture. Now, you may recall that this year, we completed the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University so before you think we flunked the class, let me say that we finally saved enough money to buy a new couch and pay cash for it. I was looking for dark colored sleekly designed leather. Something traditional without all that poufy backing and armrests. Husband, believe it or not, thought we should get WHITE with lots of fluff. Go figure. We have big dogs who like to sleep on couches. White fluff is not part of our lifestyle. Ordinarily, I am not a shopper. but in two hours, I wove my way through six furniture stores. I was ready to conclude that I did not have enough money saved to buy what I wanted, when I entered a furniture clearance store. There, I found, not only a new leather couch, but a matching loveseat, chair and ottoman all for what I had budgeted for just a couch. Though a dark brown instead of the tan I hoped for, I thought it would suit. I even remembered to measure to make sure it would all fit. Once we got it home, I was surprised at how stark the color looked against our light living room. With white walls, white curtains, and light hardwood floors, the brown couch stood out too much. There was no taking it back as the store where we purchased it did not allow returns. Besides, husband had that “Over my dead body” look about him. Hmm. What to do? I decided the room needed more color. I got up at 5:30 and went to Wal-Mart on my way to work and bought new curtains and throw pillows in burgundy and green. Then, I went home at lunch and redecorated. I think it still needs something. Maybe a paint job. But, there’s no time for that. I have more important concerns. We’ve got lots of family coming over in the next few days culminating with dinner for twenty on Christmas Day. With all the running around buying furniture, I am not prepared to feed them and I can’t even remember what time I told them to arrive. You see, I lost my focus and got off track searching after something that was not really critical at this point. Sometimes, that is the way we are when we make plans to tell someone about Jesus. We want the situation and the timing to be perfect and dilly dally around waiting all the while missing good chances. Like the shepherds, I can’t wait to get things in order before I start telling people about the Good News I have received. They hurried off even leaving their sheep in the fields. Not only do I need to tell, but I better get cooking. My guests expect more than new furniture.