So once again Christmas has come and gone with all the hype and build up, the worry and the joy, the mystery and surprises. What you did in preparation and what you didn’t, really doesn’t matter now as (using the words from the Lion King) “It’s in the past”.
It would seem that so often we allow what goes on around us and the demands and expectations of the media or others, dictate our thoughts and actions whether we want it to or not. The desire to ‘please’ can sap the very joy we want to portray, from us. Even without realising it these outside forces and the news we hear over the days around Christmas will control our very mood if we are not aware this is what is actually happening. Without us realizing it we are propelled into action or reaction and before we know it we are caught up and what is normal for us has gone out the window, so to speak.
When the guests are gone, half the decorations have fallen down and the fridge is still crammed with left overs you are brought to your senses and desire to get back what you had control of in the past. You desire to have the joy and contentment that you treasured. Or maybe you haven’t felt that joy and long to know it.
In reflection I was reading from my book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I hadn’t picked it up for a few days and this day 28th December I read….
I am your refuge and strength, an ever-present Help in trouble. Therefore, you don’t need to be afraid of anything – not even cataclysmic circumstances. The media are increasingly devoted to fear-inducing subject matter: terrorism, serial killers, environmental catastrophes. If you focus on such dangers and forget that I am your Refuge in all circumstances, you will become increasingly fearful. Every day I manifest My grace in countless places and situations, but the media take no notice. I shower not only blessings but also outright miracles on your planet.
As you grow closer to Me, I open your eyes to see more and more of My Presence all around you Things that most people hardly notice, like shifting shades of sunlight, fill you with heart-bursting Joy. You have eyes that see and ears that hear, so proclaim My abiding Presence in the world.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
The news seems to be filling of famous people dying. Looking back over the past year with all its earthquakes, floods and killings and I did wonder where the news of God’s work was.
I follow the blog Club Organized by Pam Young and one of her recent posts had a similar theme in that she talked about our moods being influenced by the things going on around us. How we can get in the habit of being in a bad mood with a bad thought and feeding it with negative thoughts.
So what can we do…
Take a deep breath and sit. Be in a place where you can see the beauty of God’s creation around you. By a window or out on a deck. If you are in the northern hemisphere by a burning fire or under a cosy rug. Take a note of the quiet sounds around you and find something to smile about. Close your eyes and allow it to be a focus in your mind. Be thankful for it and see if you can find a couple more things to be thankful for. Allow yourself to take control of your breathing and slow it down. Maybe even go for a walk and go to an area where you will not be distracted by traffic, shops or other people. Slow your walk pace and take note of God’s creation as you pass. In this time let the negatives go from your thoughts and grab hold of a positive, a blessing, of someone you love.
As you allow your mind and thoughts to be transferred from the negative to the positive take it slowly to get back into what needs to be done around you and know that God is good. He showers us with blessings every day but we just have to recognise them and allow them to be the influence of how we feel and act.
Christmas is really about love, joy and peace – let the peace of God be with you always from this day on.