The Holidays Afford Us the Opportunity to Draw Closer to God
Like a bear preparing for its winter of hibernation, I always seem to gain at least five pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those buttery homemade mashed potatoes and rolls on the Thanksgiving table always beg for seconds. And the Christmas cookies and fudge that show up everywhere—at the office, at church and at all those holiday parties further weaken my resistance. I actually make myself miserable thinking of the pounds I’m gaining as I chomp down on that second or third cookie without exerting any self-control.
In addition to gaining weight, the holidays highlight another love/hate relationship with the season. The real meaning of Christmas always seems to get buried beneath the outward trappings, some of which I have to admit, I enjoy. I love the atmosphere of celebration that surrounds the season—the decorations and lights, time spent with family and friends, concerts and parties. BUT, I hate all the commercialism.
Guilt hides around every corner, lessening my enjoyment of both the food and the activities of the season. This year I’ve decided to approach both the weight issue and the commercialism with a different tactic. I’m not going to focus on the few pounds I’m gaining during the season and just enjoy the treats. I’m also not going to focus on feeling guilty for enjoying some of the less spiritual aspects of Christmas.
What I am going to do is to put on some “Spiritual Pounds.” I’m going to spend more time reading the Word, praying and being thankful for God’s gift of a tiny babe in a manger that grew up to become the Savior of the world. As I’m filled with God’s love, peace and hope, I then can become a living example to a world looking for the real JOY of the season.
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