Halt the Hectic Pace for a Healthier, Happier Holiday


Each November I feel a sense of frenzy in the air as the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season takes flight. The rush seems to start earlier each year. Before I’ve even had the chance to say farewell to fall and its fun-filled activities I am being hurried along into the next season. It seems I can never fully appreciate the moment of NOW before I’m being encouraged to, if not forced to, prepare for what’s NEXT. To be honest, the flurry leaves me feeling flustered.

Perhaps that is why it feels like life is being played out in fast forward mode and why we can hardly keep track of our days anymore. Time is flying! Perhaps this too is the reason for increased stress and anxiety during the holiday season. Whatever happened to the PAUSE button? Does the STOP feature even work? Why are we in such a hurry to get to the next destination anyway? What’s better about being there when we can’t even appreciate being here? Won’t the same thing happen there when we finally arrive? Won’t we forget that season and push right on to the next one with little time for reflecting on what matters most. How can we break from this pattern of feverish behaviour? Dare I suggest that we slow down?

There’s something to be said about living in the present, enjoying the moments of NOW. Here there’s no need to hurry and scurry. There’s no focus on pains of the past or prospects of the future. Living in the moment provides clarity to the purpose of now and then we can find joy in our present reality. How many joyous moments have I missed because I’ve been consumed with pursuing the next best thing, only to find that it wasn’t the next best thing after all?

So, as this Christmas season speedily approaches, I have purposely decided to slow down the hectic pace. This isn’t a rat race! This season is precious, and its’ priceless memories won’t be created in shopping sprees searching for perfect presents or in decorations that are picture perfect. No, it will be found in the presence of people, imperfect people like you and me, who simply grow together and learn form each other. Better yet, the deepest meaning and purpose of Christmas will be found in the presence of God and in celebration of His Son Jesus, the only perfect one among us.

So, I will make time for people this season. I will take time to sit and listen and cultivate relationships. I will take the time to enjoy the simple things. I too will make time to sit in the presence of God and cultivate my relationship with Him. He is the reason for the season in the first place! If you desire a heathier and happier holiday this year, love God and love people! That’s what He sent His Son to teach us to do.

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