And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. ⎯ Luke 1:46-49
Try as we may, it’s virtually impossible to resist. No matter how hard we try, most of our efforts to simplify, relax, or pare down during Christmas simply fall by the wayside. You say "no" to Obligation A only to find out you’re committed to Obligation B. Even if you do manage to slow down some, it’s only slow when compared to the rest of the Christmas Crazies dominating the roadways and clogging the Malls.
Face it: Christmas time in our culture is hectic. Like it or not.
And yet, when we do stop and peel back the layers of the Christmas narrative, we find something we sorely lack this time of year. And it comes from an unlikely source.
What is this treasure we find in the Christmas story? Perspective. And who is the unlikely source of perspective? Mary.
Scholars disagree on Mary’s exact age, but the common range is anywhere from 14-18.
Needless to say, she wasn’t exactly a wise, elderly matron. Yet, she had the ability to instantly recognize her unique situation. Mary was able to cut through the excitement of her surroundings and look far into the future. She had the keen awareness that she would be part of the fabric of a great tapestry, the winding, wonderful story of God and His work throughout history. Not a bad feat for a teenager.
As you engage with your own teenagers this Christmas season, fight for perspective. Make yourself slow down. Look around you. Be aware of this special time of year and soak it all in.
Look for the eternal perspective only God can give.