December: how I love this time of year – the sights and sounds, the aroma and spirit of the season filling our hearts, our homes and our neighborhoods. Ever since I can remember, my heart has stirred with the magic of twinkling lights; so I look for opportunities to meander through the community and enjoy the creative light displays offered by neighbors. The strands of tiny white sparkles adorning the Christmas tree, lighted globes lining my walkway, dancing lights of flickering candles scattered throughout the house and the warm glow from the fireplace all pierce though the darkness and ignite a spark within. No matter what may be stirring around me, those lights bring a sense of calm and a spirit of peace. Beyond the lights outlining our homes, tonight’s winter sky above is clear and stars are scattered, like confetti, across the heavens. Twinkling lights, set in place by our Creator. They, too, pierce through the darkness of night, igniting a spark of wonder and worship, providing a sense of direction, offering a promise of hope, generating a spirit of peace. If you take time to be still and let your eyes roam across the vast expanse of the night sky, you’ll find Polaris, also known as the North Star. It gives a point of reference for the traveler searching to find his way. While we stumble around, trying to find our way in the dark of night, this star – when kept in focus – helps us maintain a sense of direction. For centuries, travelers have relied on the North Star to guide them on their journey. As we move through this holiday season, our attention is drawn to another guiding star: the Star of Bethlehem. Replicas of this shining light adorn Christmas trees and light up nativity scenes, as we join our voices and sing, “Oh holy night, the stars are brightly shining; it is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.” Scripture tells us a star announced the birth of Jesus and served as a guiding light for the Magi. With the star firmly in focus, these wise men found their way to the One for whom they were searching – a king worthy of their precious gifts, their adoration, and their worship.  As my eyes gaze on the night sky, I find myself pondering where I turn for guidance on my own life journey – my ‘north star.’ What lights up the darkness that sometimes creeps in? What do I follow as I search for truth and understanding? What leads me to a place of wonder and worship - a place of peace? The answers to these questions are found in this very season: a season of love, a season of joy, a season of hope and a season of promise. It’s not about ‘what.’ It’s about ‘who.’ It’s about the One who came to show us the way to have a personal, everlasting relationship with God – the Father of Light. He came for me – and He came for you. No matter how lost you feel or how dark it seems at times, He is there to show us the way – His way. Emmanuel. God with us. My Christmas wish for you?  That you will pause from the busyness of the season to look up and look within. To find God’s guiding light to lead you on your own personal journey and help you stay the course. Take time to look beyond the tinsel and wrappings to find the true light that will warm your heart and illuminate your path. Make your way with the shepherds to kneel at the manger in wonder and worship. Join with the angels to fill the heavens with joyous songs of celebration. Travel with the wise men to meet – for yourself – the king who was born to bring us the guiding light of God’s love. Open your heart to receive the gift He has so freely given. Then consider what you will offer Him this Christmas Season as you celebrate His birth. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Peace be with you this Christmas. Nancy Williams, LPC maintains a counseling, life coaching and consulting practice in Kingwood. Send comments or questions to her at www.nancywilliams.net.

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