It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, even though its the week before Thanksgiving. If you travel, if you have kids, if you have people coming over, or if you work at a church (or all of the above) plans have to be made now. Who has to be where when? What are they going to eat, wear, receive, or give? What about all the normal stuff that has to get done, or paid, during any given month? And what about the cat?
I could tell you not to worry about all that and try to enjoy the holidays. Try to be Mary when you want to be Martha. Focus on the joy and not the stress.
Yeah, like that’s going to happen.
No. De-stressing is a long term process. You might want to start working on that for the 2019 Holiday Season (Thanksgiving though New Years) but its too late now for any of that in 2018. If you want to do that then I suggest you keep some kind of journal, or even just lists, of what all you do this season and, if you can muster it, how you feel about that. Stick it with the dressing recipe so that you get it out next year in time. Maybe talk to someone about it.
Not that any of that helps right now.
Instead of telling you to dismiss all the worry I am going to ask for a simpler, but still hard, thing. I want you to take at least one hour a day to turn it all off. Just nothing. No going over lists, no worrying about other people, no plans. None of that.
This may sound selfish but it is not. This is putting the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on the person next to you. You have to survive. You are going to get nothing if you wear yourself out.
Figure out that window and when you can carve it out. Make it part of the plan. It is a must do.
You can spend that time in Bible study and prayer, if that is what is helpful for you. You can spend it watching your favorite TV show, as long as it doesn’t stress you out or make you anxious. You can color in a coloring book. You can knit. You can paint. You can go for a walk. You can read a book. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it quiets your mind.
If we believe that this season celebrates the Prince of Peace then we need to bring some Peace into our life. Peace doesn’t come naturally in our culture. It has to, paradoxically, fought for.
Make a plan for peace. It is like anything else, if you miss one day don’ stop doing. Practice peace. First in your own life and then in the lives of others.
If Jesus thought you were worth giving Peace to, shouldn’t you be able to give yourself some Peace.