Maybe it’s you hope to get the promotion at work. Make a higher grade on a test. Get the attention or win the affection of someone you are in a relationship with. Prove to someone how much you care about them.
Yes, there’s validity in each of those actions. Exceptional productivity at work increases the likelihood of promotions or better opportunities. Studying creates better odds for better grades. And acts of kindness build stronger relationships.
But sometimes, doing one more thing is a detriment to our well-being.
Often times the season of Advent exacerbates that.
The perfect decorations, meals, gifts, experiences.
We work to a fault trying to make Christmas amazing, and end up exhausted physically, emotionally, and mentally by the time the holiday comes.
One of the beautiful things we find in scripture with the example of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is that when she was presented with her potential to give birth to what would become the Universal Christ, she quickly moved past her fears of inadequacy.
“You want me to do what?” (modern-day translation of her reply to the angel when she found out she was giving birth to a child whose kingdom would know no end). Mary was initially shaken but quickly moved into claiming the power and protection that was offered by God.
Mary lived into her calling as a mother and did not let her inner anxieties and fears of inadequacy control her actions. Basically, she did not exhaust herself trying to prove something, attain something, be something. She simply lived and loved. Knowing that God would provide her with all that she needed to be the parent of the Messiah.
What if this Advent season we stop with some of the franticness we find ourselves doing in life? What if we recognize that we are enough. Period. In being enough we can give our best, but let our best be good enough for whatever situations we find ourselves in.
Luke 2: 46-53
Mary said, I’m bursting with God-news;
I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.