The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 19, 2013

With the holidays, I’ve not spent much time alone with God

By Ruth Ann Replogle, Columnist
Enid News and Eagle

— Unless you live in a cave — which sometimes I wish I did — you’ve been inundated with holiday sales pitches and bright colored offerings since before Halloween.

There have been Christmas cantatas and pageants, breakfasts with Santa, Candy Cane Cash, photos with Santa, BC Clark’s jingle sung, Christmas caroling, festive open houses and holiday parties. You can’t turn anywhere without sparkly blasts of green and red, silver and gold.

The hustle and bustle of the season has kept us rushing since Thanksgiving. We’ve been cooking, shopping, spending, planning, and the list goes on. It is anything but relaxing.

Don’t get me wrong. I love being with family and giving gifts that hold meaning.

My parents repeatedly have told us they don’t want any more knickknacks for the house; they’d rather have an afternoon with us enjoying a home-cooked dinner and a Hallmark movie.

Every year my husband claims he doesn’t want anything for Christmas, just me.

That said, for me personally it has been more stressful this holiday season than ever before. I’m not sure why; it may have to do with additional duties at work and never-ending responsibilities at home. Half the time I can’t remember if I’m coming or going with so many things to do.

To be honest, I’ve not spent much time alone with God the past several weeks. The lack of quiet moments in His presence has obviously magnified my stress because I’m trying to accomplish on my own and you know that never ends well.

Inevitably, it leads to snapping at others and acting aggressively, all because the restless soul is unsatisfied.

Compounding the stress is I’ve been extremely irritated by comments in the media such as “Who needs Christ during Christmas? Nobody.”

Hello. Why do you think you get a holiday off from work? I don’t recall any other special events in December that warrant a break from the daily routine. Christmas is held in honor of the birth of the Savior. Besides, you can’t spell “Christmas” without “Christ.” I read a note that said, “Christmas without Christ is just a mess.” True that.

Where is the peace?

Peace is defined as the absence of hostility, freedom from quarrels and disagreement, security and order, inner contentment, a state of tranquility, free from strife, silence, to be complete, sound.

A Glade candle commercial features children singing, “Let there be peace on earth …”

We need the real Peacemaker in our lives so we can calm the restless, frustrated, empty spirit within.

Entertainment won’t fill that blank. Material things won’t fill that hole. Spouses, kids and friends can’t fulfill that need. Only Christ can bring genuine peace to our soul.

He is the Prince of Peace who provides a peace that will not end. (Isaiah 9:6)

He brings hope and joy and crushes Satan’s hold. (Romans 15:13, 16:20)

He can cleanse and make your whole being holy from the inside out. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

The Hebrew definition of peace, or “shalom,” is the harmonious state of the soul and mind, being at ease both externally and internally.

My wish for you is that you personally come to know the God of Peace, the Christ of Christmas, the Reason for this Season.

May you have a Merry Christmas and enter the new year stress-free.



Contact Ruth Ann Replogle at www.facebook.com/JustHoldOnRR or justholdonrr@gmail.com.