Highland News Leader

Devotional: Being neat and tidy does not necessarily bring us peace

Strong winds were blowing one day while I was walking my dog. On one end of town, a man was trying to rake leaves into neat and tidy piles. While he pulled leaves together from his left, the wind scattered them to his right. When he raked leaves from his right, they’d go flying off to his left.

On the other end of town, a fence was catching all the leaves in the wind. A woman was raking the leaves off that fence and kicking them out into the street so the wind would blow them away.

Our attempts to keep things neat and tidy are often thwarted by things we cannot control.

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, I am reminded that Christ’s birth was as unmanageable as that wind. There’s the engaged couple trying to figure out how she could be “with child.” There’s the birth into a messy animal stall. There’s a frightened ruler seeking to kill all children under the age of 3 in Bethlehem. There’s nothing neat and tidy about these stories.

Yet, on Christmas Eve, we will sing, “Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright.” In the end, we recognize that true peace doesn’t come through our attempts to keep everything under control, neat and tidy. True peace comes with our willingness to let God be God, and our eagerness to welcome God’s coming, messy though it may be, into our lives.

May such peace be born within us this season.


Rev. Tim Darmour-Paul

Pastor, Grantfork UCC