From: Patrick Mead
For your holiday peace of mind and sanity, here is my article for our church eBlast:
Keep This in Mind…
The commercials have been flooding all media formats since well before Halloween. Christmas is coming, in case you forgot. I know that many of you don’t want to even think about it until after Thanksgiving and I get that…but let’s get our minds and hearts ready for this day.
If you stress about this season:
1. Remember that “now” is not the same as “forever.” This season will pass. They always do.
2. TV ads insisting that you up your game and give more for Christmas will not be there in January to help you pay for what you’ve bought. They are not your friends. And what they are insisting is THE perfect gift is for their benefit, not yours.
3. Time spent with those you love is the best gift. Unless they are loners in which case just send them a card to let them know you are thinking of them and that you decided to gift them with silence and space!
4. You don’t have to start listening to music or decorate or buy presents on any particular day and you don’t have to wait on a particular date to start if you are ready to go. Transiberian Orchestra music pretty much rocks all year round so turn it up. Or don’t. It’s your choice, not the choice of some bogus Facebook poll.
5. Ignore politicians. That’s pretty good advice all year round but especially now.
6. Ignore TV “journalists” who tell you how many calories are in your Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. God told Israel he would bless them with “the fat of the land.” He never mentioned broccoli. So let’s not, either.
7. Human beings have never achieved perfection during their existence on this planet. Let’s not demand it during this season when it comes to meals, family time, presents or, well, anything.
8. Enjoy the colors and songs. Except “Santa Baby.” And that Grandma and the reindeer one.
9. Even if it all goes sideways and you end up sick in the hospital, you live in a modern nation that has great healthcare so…you are still blessed.
10. People will say things. Your relatives will say things. But they are not God and what they say is nothing more or less than just what they say. Do not give it any other weight. Let it slide right off. Unless it’s a compliment. You totally deserve that.
11. Put your eyes on Jesus and not on any crisis which might come along. And remember that most crises are self generated or imaginary. Come January, Jesus will still be on the throne and in charge. Cool, isn’t it?
I’d like to close this with “be blessed” but, well, you already are. And so am I. We are family, children of God, and members at Fourth Avenue. It’s like having Christmas all year long…