Christmas 2015 is seven days away! Another year draws to its end very quickly. For many of us, we ponder how Christmas will turn out this year. We spend time planning for gifts for family and friends. Then there is all the food to plan, cook and serve up. Christmas is now one of our most anxious times, when we really should be spending more time assessing its meaning, how we have grown and blessed other for God, in the process.
The reality is that for many of us, we are thinking about family and our relationships. Each one of us sp nods th year chasing after work, to earn, eat and provide for various needs. Once Thanksgiving and Christmas come around, our thoughts are increasingly preoccupied with family. We wonder how we left off Christmas with each family member and plan where to begin this Christmas. Should I apologize with a gift? Should my card to them bear an apology? Oh no! That would be putting myself down for all to see….what if? What if? Or, what else?
As we shop, plan, get home more tired every day, we wrap ourselves in a cloak of anxiety. The weight of this cloak growing daily. Sleep is lost, diets and other patterns begin to go awry. Fear creeps in and more anxiety frazzled each day. Sleep is no longer a comfort but a dread, as we battle our thoughts late into the night. Irritated, we worry about the worst possible scenarios. In the midst of this, faith, hope, love and charity appear foolish, even hopeless.
We look forward the next best thing(s) – the office party, time out in the malls, catching up with friends and even solace in a bottle. Things turn murky. Prayer and quiet time become the briefest possible ritual. We ar critical of everything that moves and the things that do not! Food and drink have lost their colour and now they seem to lose their taste. Tempers frayed, rest forgotten and fear gnawing our insides, we dread the thought of family who do not live close by.
The familiar becomes the stranger. Even our neighbours irritate and frustrate us. Work is a drag. Traffic is a mess. Colour lose their meaning. A few more days to go. More dread.
What if I make the effort and pray blessings over family, before we meet with them? It is impossible for prayer to accomplish nothing. Prayer is our conversation with God. He responds every time, even if the answer is ‘not now’, ‘no’ or wait’. His heart is to live, bless, heal and restore. So if this is God’s heart, can we not trust Him with family and the most sensitive issues we face?