Getting your Stable (Manger) in Order

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.   Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:8-9

When was the last time you were in a stable?  Let me refresh your memory; a stable is where animals, like horses, are stalled.   A stable floor is carpeted with straw, manure, and dirt.  There are troughs full of water and feed.  Excess equipment and tools are stored for future use.  Cows are milked, and young animals are fed. Familiar sounds of Old MacDonald’s Farm are heard from oink, oink to nay, nay.  And the stable has a particular smell.

When I was in Flandreau, South Dakota, some years ago to visit some schools for my job, I saw a Hutterite Colony, where pigs were raised, and artisans made the most beautiful brooms–which I believe will last forever.  I remember stepping inside the pig pen and could barely breathe.  The smell was stifling, and well, the stench made me gag.

While the stable is a place where calves, piglets, and colts are born, full of hope and promise, it also is a place of struggle.  Difficult to keep clean, filled with clutter and lots of old stuff. God transformed a stable in the troubled city of Bethlehem for the arrival of Christ. How can we change our own “stable” for the coming of Christ too?

  1. Go for a walk to clear your mind.
  2. Meet up with friends. Or give them a call. 
  3. Play some Christmas music.
  4. Breathe deeply. Repeat.
  5. Clean and refresh. 
  6. Say “I Love You” to someone who needs to hear it.
  7. Take a prayer walk and pray for everyone you see. 
  8. Listen to podcasts like “On Being” or “Nothing Much Happens.”

My prayer today comes from the last verse of “Away in a Manger…”

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.

What will you do today to get your “stable” in order?

Make room for Jesus today in your stable, my friends!   And as, we put the lessons Christ shared with us into practice, God will grant us peace.

Shared by Marcie Doll

4 responses to “Getting your Stable (Manger) in Order”

  1. I was in a goat farm last month while on tour in Tuscany. What I remember more than the smell was the need to watch where I stepped. Perhaps I will “walk mindfully” into the New Year. Thank you.

  2. Thank you Marcie for these tools… walking is one of my favorites. It’s perfect for both meditation, connection and praying for oneself and others. And how joyful to hear John Denver’s recording.

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