The Temptation To Compare

Suzanne Phillips
March 04, 2018

I have a confession.  Now this is risky because there are a lot of you and therefore, a plethora of opinions on any given topic, right? But what the heck a little risk is good between cooking dinner, thinking about doing laundry and attacking the never-ending emails.  So here it goes……I still have pumpkins and lingering harvest “feels” displayed and embellishing my abode. I do.  On December the 4^th.  No sparkling white lights. No festive Christmas decorations. No evergreen forest as you walk from room to room………..NOPE, nada, nothing.  All plans have failed.  Grown children who were home for Thanksgiving were a little bummed because schedules didn’t allow for us to all go together and they would miss out.  Lilly, who is the only child at home,  is clearly not sure what she thinks about the first tree hunt alone with Mom and Dad.  Last weekend was planned and then a monsoon moved through threatening to wash us all away, leaving the tree farms full of muck and yuck.  So, no tree yet.

I am guessing some of you are a little horrified with my planning or lack thereof.  Maybe even feeling tightness in your chest as you try not to panic for me?  Others may have a bit of a stomachache thinking about children facing disappointment or loneliness.  I bet there is a crew feeling so much better about themselves because they have at least started the conversion to all things Christmas.  And, for those of you that are right here with me and are not even sure if you are going to pull this whole season off at all……. peace and comradery be with you!

Here’s the deal, this is where I am.  It is neither good nor bad, right nor wrong. When the sun sets and the front porch light illuminates a withering trio of pumpkins rather than a bountiful wreath of greenery I can rest my head trusting my God loves me just the same.

The temptation to compare is REAL.  Insecurity knocks on the door as we drive down the street, pull up social media and watch TV. The desire to be organized, create beauty, surrender or bring joy to your children are ALL good things because you can see God in each of them.  However, finding security in our ability to pull any of this off in our own strength robs us of the wonder of trusting God and seeing Him work through us.   We make plans but He orders our steps.  Jesus, Emmanuel (God with us), is with us no matter where we are in the season.  We can fully trust that………..and it is not only enough, it is GOOD!