As Bop Hope was getting older he liked to share about an amazing discovery he had made by reading science books. "Today my heart beat over 86,000 times, my blood traveled several million miles, I breathed 23,400 times, I inhaled 438 cubic feet of air, ate 3 pounds of food, and drank 2.9 pounds of liquid.
"I perspired 1.43 pintsâ€¦ gave off 85.3 degrees of heatâ€¦ generated 450 tons of energy, I spoke 4,800 words, I moved 750 major muscles, and I exercised 7 million brain cells."
Then he would pause and say with a grin, "It's no wonder I'm tired all the time." As we move into the holiday season many people can relate. The pressures of the silly season can sometimes be exhausting.
A couple of years ago I was on a spiritual retreat in Scotland. In the back of an ancient church there was a small prayer room where people from all over the world would come and sit and place simple prayer notes on the altar.
One that was face up simply read, "Remember me Lord." It is to this hope that the scriptures implore us to understand the Christmas message of Immanuel, literally "God with us."
In the nineteenth century Francis Havergal wanted to draw closer to God. She spent untold hours memorizing the New Testament that God might say many things to her. Experiencing spiritual intimacy too deep for words she simply shared, "What you see, you can never unsee."
She is perhaps most remembered for the words to her immortal song, "Take my life, and let it be, consecrated, Lord, to theeâ€¦Take my voice, and let me sing, always, only, for my Kingâ€¦Take my will and make it thine; it shall be no longer mine."
A passion like that will never be born from purchasing the latest fad, nor in the empty rituals of man-made religion, though many still try.
Indeed, in sixteenth century Geneva, Switzerland many rules were put in place to purify the people, some still followed by the faithful today in the hopes of finding God.
A few things on the city's forbidden list included feasting, dancing, singing, pictures, statues, organs, irreligious songs, plays, makeup, jewelry, swearing, gambling, cards, hunting, drunkenness, and naming children after anyone other than Old Testament characters.
Yet as Phillip Yancey so wonderfully shared, "I came face to face with God's love while I was at my worst, not my best."
Indeed, that is the hope of all people, that when we are not at our best there is a grace that sustains us.
So while you may be purchasing the new Haggar pants that expand two sizes when you open up the button, may your spiritual awareness also increase. That is the miracle of Christmas when we simply stop, slow down and remember Immanuel, God with us.About the Author:
A former pastor, Tobin holds both a B.A. and an M.A. in theology. Having traveled widely in the Marine Corps and as a graduate student, Tobin has spent the past 15 years gathering some of the world's most powerful life-changing truths. He's the author of The Life That Is Really Life: How Biblical Truth Can Transform Your Spiritual, Emotional, Physical and Relational Health which is available on Amazon and at his website twominutesermon.com