The days between Christmas and New Years Day always are the most reflective time of the year.
This year is no different. I think Christmas with all of its expectations and all of its messiness and all of its disappointments by nature softens the heart. The season tends to prepare the ground in which the seeds of life are planted.
Christmas allows us to see ourselves at our best and worse. We see the joy of family and we see where our family is lacking (I am including myself in what is lacking in my family- no stone throwing here). But we experience all of those ups and downs in a short of the amount of time.
I have also found that after the bustle of the preparation for the season, that when are the presents are unwrapped and parties are over, there is a stillness that sets in that. A time of reflections and time of recollection.
In those moments we get to start to craft how we want to live differently in the year to come. We start to choose the things we want to say yes to and things we must say no to.
We choose to head west not east (or vice versa depending on where you live)
We choose the things that bring life and not the things that lead to death and decay.
We choose the God of love not the god of fear.
This is what hangs in the balance in this most reflective season. Use it well.
Find some time to get alone and start jotting down what you want to choose and by default things you do not want to choose in the new year. I began this process a bit last night as I sat outside and just observed some wildlife from a distance.
Here are some examples from my own life that might help get you started.
— I will allow peace of Christ to dominate my actions, not the loud and impotent voices of fear.
— I will choose my family and their long-term health over short-term pleasures or inconveniences. (I still need to unpack this a bit over the next few days, but this is an example of a work in process)
— I will invest deeply in those that want to learn and grow. In other-other words, I will love all, but I will invest deeply with those that are willing and wanting to grow.
— I will not give credence or validation to the voice of cowards. I experienced way too many voices of cowards that I allowed to shape my days and my ways in 2018. Not in 2019.
— I will offer forgiveness to those that have wronged me, even though they have not asked for it and might (probably) never ask for it.
I am sure I will have some more in the days ahead, but I am hoping this will help you to choose life and life to the full in the days ahead (see John 10:10)
Strength and courage,