Matthew 6: 25-34. 25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Even though I think I used this scripture in a previous post, I think it applies even more at this time of the year. The world is so busy and during this season it tends to suck you in. We fill our already busy schedule with more parties, more shopping, more events, just more. How about this idea. As the holidays are coming to an end, perhaps use the holidays to take a holiday. At some point, give yourself a little extra time for self care, for rest, or maybe for doing something that gives you happiness and life. My good friend and mentor Rev. Dr. Megan Rohrer put it this way:
“This holiday season, take a holiday from the things (within your control) that are not life giving. Turn down criticism (internal and external), stress, rules that burden. Turn up love, joy, hope and whatever makes your heart sparkle. And if you are sad and nothing will help, turn down expecting something else and honor yourself just as and where you are.“ - Rev Dr Megan Rohrer
I think we get so caught up in worry, stress and business that we forget the most fundamental reasons for the season…Yes, Jesus is the reason for the season…but also, the reason schools have a break, the reason the church calendar is very specific about the Advent and Christmas seasons…is all the same. It is a time to go the opposite way of the expected worry and stress. It is a time gifted to us to slow down, to get our priorities in order. It is a time to renew our friendships and recharge for the new year. It is a time for rebirth.
Let the worries go away and use the birth of the Christ child to give us all our own rebirth. Drop the stress and focus on the simple, the baby in the manger. Find joy and hope and love that maybe we all have lost sight of, a bit. I think we can only do that when we focus on what is really important. Our own health, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Our relationships…maybe tell someone you love that you love today, especially someone that hasn’t heard it for a while. Maybe listen to a friend who just needs to have an emotional dump without any judgement. Maybe its YOU who needs to do those things.
Take this time to take a holiday, to rest, relax, recharge and renew, and go into the New Year a person ready for whatever may come and not cynical and stressed. Find new hope and new strength in the lengthening of days and the New Year!