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In preparation for Christmas day, I have fallen victim to wanting more: more time to finish final papers before break, more hands to wrap last-minute gifts, more cooking skills to impress my family at Christmas dinner. This “more mindset” has only resulted in more Advent stress, causing the season to fly by without ever fully entering into it. I thought that if I just had more, Christmas would be perfect; yet when we ask for so much, we forget to trust in the One who provides for all that we need.
King Solomon, son of David, was given the opportunity to ask God for anything he desired, and God promised to grant his wishes. Instead of asking for more riches, power, glory, or any worldly gifts, Solomon asked only for wisdom in discerning right from wrong so he could rule the people of Israel well. In response, God granted Solomon with the greatest wisdom of anyone in the nation, plus the riches and power that he did not ask for.
Through this wisdom, Solomon became a great ruler of Israel, attributed with building the First Temple of Jerusalem and writing Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. Unfortunately, as with his predecessors Saul and David, Solomon’s downfall was caused by his distrust of God’s promise. He wanted more riches and power, falsely believing that this would make his kingship perfect.
Especially during the stress of Christmas, we forget that everything God has given us is perfect; the only thing we should desire more of is Him. Even if we were to be granted more time or hands or cooking skills, these things alone could never result in a perfect Christmas. Only when we spend Advent fixing our gaze on the manger and being grateful for what God has given us will we truly experience the joy of Jesus’s birth: This is what makes Christmas perfect.
[The Aleteia community is joining the journey of an Old Testament pilgrim each day this Advent, as they lead us to the Christ Child in this holy season. Find the daily reflections here.]