Thanksgiving season has swiftly rushed past and we are now in the throes of Christmas shopping, decorating and baking. This time of year is reserved for reflection on days past, warm memories of those people and places of long ago, and a building of hope that the next calendar will turn over and see a bright New Year. We hear ring-a-linging bells on every corner as the Salvation Army Santa greets us, we watch as first one home then another in our neighborhoods throws light on the season with their various reindeer and sleighs, snowflakes and elves dancing along the fronts of glistening abodes and slippery sidewalks. Ah, Christmas…the time we should sit back and rest and really enjoy.
But do we? Many are working more hours now than ever before as the crush of the current economy has forced more people to find second and even third jobs. Masses of layoffs, closings and cutbacks have depressed the checkbooks along with the spirits of the working class. While embracing the real reason for the season, unfortunately love and contentment is buried in an avalanche of anxiety.
As much as we would like to see this way of life change, it seemingly is with us. Once a tide has turned it is so difficult to turn it back to simpler times, simpler truths and beliefs…not impossible…just more difficult.
As I was working from home today, I thought about how fortunate I am to do so when so many have to gird their loins and go out into the cruel world each day. I noticed too, and have been keenly aware of how “rushed” I will be and have been making a concerted effort for several months to slooooow doooowwwwwn. Not easy for this type A firstborn…but nothing worth doing is easy, right?
Many years ago I taught on this very subject in a women’s Bible Study I was leading at the time. I was encouraging us all in my teaching to take the time to enjoy the life the Lord has given us by eliminating some things from our lives that were a hindrance to true contentment and enjoyment. Several of the ladies were sharing how they didn’t “have time” to go to lunch or dinner with a friend anymore, or read a book, watch a favorite TV show, or sit on their back porch and eat an apple and listen to the birds sing and watch the squirrels run up and down the trees. Some were working more than one job, had small toddlers at home, an ailing parent or any of a number of various demands on their time. I took the opportunity to teach on “minute vacations”. So many times we are such perfectionists in our lives. We don’t do something until we can do it perfectly, and it ultimately never gets done. We don’t start a fun project because we can’t carve out an entire day to work on it, and we throw up our hands and say ” I will get to it, and my own time of enjoyment later”…and later never comes. Years pass, interest lags…and we never have anything to show for our lives but work, bed, eat, sleep a little and start over again.
How would your life change if you took more “minute vacations”? Drink a cup of hot cocoa and sit on the back porch…read 1 chapter, and only 1 chapter of your book each day…write one stanza of a poem or song…read the funny papers…feed the birds…take a walk around the block…practice the art of Simpli-F-Y.
Simpli-F-Y is anything you do Simply For You.