We are at the point in the holiday season where rushing and crowds have become the norm, and you can’t quite go anywhere without there being both a crowd and a line. Stores are jammed with anxious shoppers filled with unease and foreboding, and the roads are bumper to bumper with people fixated on getting to their next destination. Everyone’s tempers become short and their bodies are consumed with a low tolerance for everything. More importantly, we all get caught up in it pretty quickly. As seemingly normal, kind, and sympathetic people, we grunt and groan our way through aisles filled with too many people when we just want to get to the item we came to the store for, we find ourselves rolling our eyes and muttering under our breath at the people in front of us at the cashier as those people fumble for their coupons and argue a price, and we blow our horn when the light changes at an intersection if the car eight car lengths in front of us doesn’t immediately start to go as we are worried that we will have to wait ANOTHER cycle in the changing of the traffic lights. Everyone is in our way, and if we are not careful, the season becomes not the season of joy and celebration but the season of rushing and endless frustration. If we take a step back and think about it, we quickly begin to realize that the rushing is hardly worth it since we are rushing to the next holdup: the only thing that waits for us after our rush is more waiting. Even beyond the season, too quickly we have become people rushing to get to the next point where we are waiting to rush again. Looking at it in a different way, throughout our day, we are given pockets of time to do what we wish to do with them, but we don’t take the time to enjoy those moments because we are wishing them to be over too quickly as we rush to the next big thing. Our time on this earth is limited, and when we have a moment of down time or of waiting, we impatiently push through it so that we can move on to the next activity. We are not getting the most we can out of our God-given quiet moments. The author of Psalm 46.10 writes, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The psalmist want us to take those moments and use them as times of growth. God has built in these times of reflection into our day, and often times they are times of solitude, so why not take those moments where the rush is beyond our control and use them to spend a moment or two to grow in our faith? If we are stuck in a store and can’t do anything but wait, take that time to pray, meditate, or just wonder at God’s creation. Use that time to breathe deeply and enjoy that time with Him, praising Him for all He is doing around you. Find the peace that comes with knowing a God that, despite the chaos of the universe, still wants to take a moment and spend it with just you. Don’t succumb to your surroundings with frustration but instead rise above them with peace and stillness that only comes from above. Amen.