The Christmas Season has been in full swing since November. I learned three major lessons about surviving the holiday rush that I pray will prevent any turmoil from befalling you.
1. Look Before You Leap
I nearly killed someone the other day. I was backing out of my parking space at the mall. The car parked to my left had its passenger door open, waiting for a man to get in. He was a bit heavy set, and he was chatting with the driver. They were indecisive, and it was unclear whether they were getting in the car or going back into the store. I was waiting for him to close his door before I backed out. My engine was on, my foot on the brake, already in reverse gear. Finally he got in, and his door closed. I took my foot off the brake and felt my car start to move. In that same instant, I looked over my right shoulder and was shocked to see a woman walking right behind me. As my car moved, she jumped, and I thank God for her awareness. I slammed my foot on the brake and brought my car to a complete stop. She was heading for the driver-side door of the car on my right, which explained why her path had her virtually hugging my car. I was tempted to criticize her risky parking lot behavior when I realized that I was the risky one. I needed to look before I leaped. The next time you are about to leap, or take your foot off your brake, or criticize, please look with awareness and compassion first.
2. Prioritize Spiritual Matters
Christmas spirit means many things to many people. It’s even one of the categories for judging the best Christmas lights on a seasonal reality show. Presents, parties, and peer pressure to keep up with the Joneses can starve your spirit. Some people make it a point to say Merry Christmas because they want to emphasize Christ as the reason for the season. I invite you to take it further. Pick up a Bible, read the Nativity story, and wrestle with every verse. Do not let go of that verse until it blesses you with a deeper understanding of what the incarnation means, God in human flesh. I vividly remember one Bible study in our young adults group many years ago led by my dear friend Rodney Abriol. He took us to Matthew 2:3. I had never really heard that verse before, but as we wrestled with the Word of God, I realized that when God appears in His holiness, our wretchedness becomes even more apparent. It makes sense that we are troubled, and all (insert your town here) with us. When confronted by God’s love, let us take hold of what He is offering us in the gift of His Son Jesus Christ: forgiveness, transformation and giving you a holy character, and the glorification of God through Christ working in us. Every good gift comes from the Father (see James 1:17).
Have you been going non-stop? Do you have more things to do than you can possibly do? Please change your plans and get some rest. The rest I am talking about is not just a physical rest or getting enough sleep, although that is critical for your own health, and the well-being of those around you. Be sure you give yourself mental, emotional, and spiritual rest, too. Sleep in, don’t work on the seventh day, go to an easy yoga class, ask for hugs and hold on until you feel better. Look at your schedule and plan a time to rest. You know you need it. Give yourself that gift.
I learned these lessons the hard way and hope that reading this article can help you avoid the negative repercussions of getting swept away by the Christmas rush. I pray that the Lord will bless you and abundantly provide for you and your family this holiday season. Please feel free to comment below about how you have been blessed or provided for. May this be your best Christmas season ever.