T’is Season of Stress
Let us talk Christmas. We consider the “season” as starting the day after Thanksgiving until we have finished visiting all the family and head back to work or school. So “season” is a fitting word, right? Then we hear the descriptors of “hustle and bustle” thrown our way. We even hear that we are supposed to be stressed! All we hear is negative-ness.
That so disappoints me. I like to think of the “season” as a fun time, a time of family, a time of faith. So I am stomping my foot at what the business world wants me to feel at this time of year. I hope you take a moment and think about what has been going through your own mind about the next month. Are you afraid you won’t get everything done? Are you afraid someone will hurt your feelings over the gift you got them? Are you afraid you won’t be able to handle the “stress” of cooking the meal? Stop! Think about the negatives. Now write them down and make a plan. Start each item with a prayer. Before you hop in the car to go shopping, pray. Before planning the meal pray. Why? Well, think of this and see if prayer is not something you should do first.
Why do we have a Christmas season? A child was born, right? Now to those that want to disc me by saying that this is pagan, get over it. It is the time that we choose to celebrate the birth of the Messiah. I am not a scholar and could not give you the exact date, but truth be told no one can. So, December fits me fine, besides in our part of the world it is a dreary time of year and having the Messiah to celebrate fills a void.
Now, if we are celebrating a birth, and the most important birth in the world, why? Why do we tend to cast a negative connotation on the whole season? Are we not the most lucky of people ? Think about us, the human race, getting to celebrate the coming of the Messiah! Why should we allow ourselves to be stressed? Why? I will tell you why. Because we are living in, and of, this world. We are not living in the birth. How sad is that?
The Father gave us His Son. What are we giving in return? Are we giving conversation, love, and reflection of His gift? That is why I say, “pray”. Pray each time you start to tackle [another negative word] a task. Ask that the task be not a task, but an action of love and reflection of Him. Pray with thanksgiving. Not just thanksgiving that you finished that chore; but thanksgiving that you were given the family to have a chore for. But also, always thanksgiving for the gift of the Messiah.
Jot down a few verses. Tuck them in your wallet, in the cup holder of the car, in your phone; somewhere you can pull one out and read it. Just stopping what you are doing and reading a verse will restore you. When you are feeling the stress count start to climb; Stop, Read, and Pray. Forget about Santa this year and concentrate on the Messiah. You will find that moving Santa to the back burner you will enjoy this “season” so much more. Don’t let the world tell you that you should be stressed. Stress is man/satan made. It is not of the Father. Satan is the big deceiver so expect him to encourage you with stress and feelings of rush and fear. That evil one is of the hustle and bustle. Take two minutes and look up the synonyms of those two words.
This is not the “season” of extravagance, but the “season” of swaddling clothes and lowly mangers. Nothing rich or fancy about that, is there? There was no feast, there were no fancy table cloths. There was only a guiding star, a promised Messiah, and a manger. There was only the gift that was given to us.
If I could give each of my readers one gift, it would be the gift of peace in knowing your salvation.
WHAT IS THE GIFT OF SALVATION?
To me salvation is the acceptance of the knowledge that Jesus is the son of the Father. That upon realizing that this is so, we ask Him to carry the burden of our sins away. We ask to be forgiven our iniquities. That we accept the Spirit and allow it to guide and teach us what the Father’s will is. Asking for salvation is the first step in our new life. Learning, praying, reading, and changing our ways is a “must” that we should strive for. For if we do not change our ways, then we are one of those that the Son said would say “Lord, Lord, have we not”…… and he tells them “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work of iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21- 23)
My prayer for each of us is: Father, at this time when we are trying to celebrate Your Gift, You bless us with a peace in our days. For some of us we are rethinking the Christmas tree as pagan, the gift giving as useless, and some of us are still seeking you. I pray that some reader searches You out and receives Your Gift. Guide each of us as the group of men following Your star were guided.