The truck window was open wide to bring relief from the sauna our vehicle had become and the scent of the country filled the cabin. Christmas was going to be dry and hot. Recollections of snowmen and snug fires that fill the media over this season caused me to chuckle at the enormity of this paradox. Driving in eastern Australia, it wasn’t frost that filled my senses but the aroma of eucalyptus leaves dissipating in the heat. A chorus of cicadas screamed above the music which pumped through the speakers. Winding forward along the crumbling road, my face numbed and my hair stung my neck as it whipped and flung around me uncontrollably from the wind. This wind on my face was almost an overload of stimulation.
But not as much stimulation as was manifesting at our place. There was only thirteen more sleeps and the mountain of gifts below our nativity scene would be reduced to a pile of confetti. Our calendar for our family of one dozen, was filling out beyond the realms of achievability and was more overstuffed than an overdue mother. Each day enlarged my childrens expectancy for the ‘main event’, Christmas Day, but also increasing was my resolve to keep their hearts loaded with eternal perspective. But for now, I didn’t need to fatigue my mind with the choreography of this year’s celebratory climax. This long drive meant I could bring my mind back from the planning of the next few weeks and live in the moment.
This living in the now let all my attention return to focus on the scenery which was rushing past. I had seen this route many times before but every time it seemed to offer a different perspective. This intrigue caused my eyes to not casually, but almost desperately soak in all this lands stories. The history of life in every old farm house; the wonder and depth made by the shadows as the sun slid behind the mountains; the seamless knitting of the undulating slopes meeting the winding river which we repeatedly crossed. Bursting with an overwhelmingly satisfaction, I was thankful that God had put me in such a breathtaking place, that He had given me the eyes to see His land for the exquisiteness, the life it held.
Breathing deeply, I soaked in this life; His life. It appeared to me that God gave my present early. Such a generous gift wrapped in such a huge package, too big to join the growing mound in our living room yet I was totally absorbed in it and totally full of awe for its creator. His gift? He let me enjoy Him. To feel the substance of Him. To soak in His pleasure of me. To see His reflection of His heart in all that He made and continually lives and breathes through. His reason? Intimacy. His very purpose for creating us.
So resolute to woo us, He even purposed an insurance package of grace a fistful of Christmases ago. A gift that didn’t need wrapping, that won’t break, be outgrown or clutter the house, and one that doesn’t require the social seasonal protocol of parties, cards, feasts, holidays or bling. So pure and simplistic yet so full of substance that our lives depend on us unwrapping and embracing His gift’s essence. Astounding. He did everything so all we need to do is unwrap Him?