Daily Devotional

December 22, 2018

Leon! Leon! Leon!

In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. – Isaiah 30:15

One Christmas I received an interesting card in the mail from an aunt. I was amused because inside it had the words, “Leon! Leon! Leon!” as a musical score. It was actually, “Noel! Noel! Noel!” written backwards.

Around that same time, I went to a choir practice where we were working long and hard, and our conductor was getting tired and a bit stressed. It was probably not a good time to pull a practical joke, but it is my nature to do just that. We were going to sing a song that had three Noels in a line; hence the idea of singing it backwards occurred to me. Without the conductor knowing, the entire choir was asked to sing “Leon, Leon, Leon,” instead of “Noel, Noel, Noel.” We did not know what would happen, but after having us run through that part three times and hearing “Leon, Leon, Leon” each time, our conductor actually thought he was losing it. He was becoming seriously distressed, and then we all started laughing to diffuse the situation.

Especially at Christmas time, it can be easy to become preoccupied and stressed with logistics and scheduling, perhaps to the extent that we miss the point of our efforts—celebrating Jesus’ birth! I did not know all the details of our conductor’s life at that time, yet the situation caused me to realize that we must be careful not to overdo it during the holiday season. While we all should strive to do our best for the Lord, we must not lose sight of what is important.

Our focus verse says that in “returning and rest” we shall be saved. Just as we must take time to be holy, it is also important that we take time away from the duties of life. Even Jesus had time to repose and gain strength, and if we neglect that, we might just come apart! Resting and being quiet for a while allows us to recharge our spiritual batteries, and make sure our focus is correct. Then we can give our best to the events in our lives. Remember, no matter how much we put into a project, it is only the Lord who can bless our efforts and give the increase.