“Be the change you want to see.”
It’s a bit too early for New Year’s Resolutions perhaps, but not too early to remember what you said to yourself last Christmas season. “Next year we are going to cut back,” “I am going to start earlier so that everything doesn’t come crashing down at the last moment,” “I am going to focus on healthier eating next year,” “I am going to give more to those who have very little,” I’m going to enjoy rather than endure next Christmas.”
Well, Christmas songs are in the air, the air itself is getting colder, snow has already visited us, and decorations are slowly making their way out of their 11-month hiding places. NOW is the time to be the change you wanted to see “next year!” Remember it is possible to change!
A couple of suggestions:
Set priorities for yourself. Begin by planning to do the things that “make your heart sing” and work your way down to the ones “you have to do but don’t have to like.”
Be realistic with yourself. You know what you are capable of doing – plan with that in mind. “No” is as legitimate of an answer to an invitation as “Yes.”
Plan activities with gratitude and generosity in mind. If generosity is missing, so is joy. While you can only hope others will do this for you, you can make sure to do this for them. The generous heart breeds contentment.
Set aside a brief time each day for a “huddle” with God about how you are doing. In those five minutes you will hear and know if you are on track or not. If you are – “thumbs up,” if not – “time for correction.” Keep an actual record of when you consciously do this each day. You could even give yourself a grade for the day if that is helpful for you.
Load up on forgiveness so you have plenty to cover yourself and those around you. You will need it, and if you run out, replenish it quickly! Forgiveness is the oil that can bring happiness.
Keep breathing! God came to give us peace and to breathe his life into us. Missing this, misses everything.
Be the change you want to see in your life and in the world around you. Advent is the time to prepare to receive God’s generosity. Invite that generosity to flow first to you and then through you to others.
God’s Peace this holiday season and beyond,