Every year a church near our house does a nativity production, complete with live animals.
We walked over to see the camels in their pen outside, and when we got there the pen was empty, so we peeked inside the church.
We found all the animals lined up for a final rehearsal, and we sat down in the nearly empty church to watch.
The music was beautiful, the angels danced magnificently, the shepherds all entered on cue, and the child portraying Baby Jesus didn't cry once. But the donkey was a different story.
The donkey refused to walk down the aisle.
His handler coaxed. He pulled. He prodded. He pushed.
He got nowhere.
We chuckled, but it made me think.
How many of us are like that donkey? How many of us are too weighed down by material things and too overburdened to want to take part in the miracle of this season? How many of us must be prodded to celebrate the wondrous birth of Jesus?
I have had my moments this season when I've found I'm trying to carry too much, to do too much. And I know that it keeps me from celebrating the glory.
If there's so much weighing on you that you can't enjoy the season, let go. Put down some of your burdens so you can revel in the true meaning of Christmas and go forth with joy.
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." ~ Luke 2:11 (KJV)