One of the greatest life-challenges for me is moving past “things are not all as I wish they were.” The main reason is because “things are not all as I wish they were.”
Especially at Christmas.
I think the hack here is to focus on what you do have and not what you don’t.
To focus on what you have gained and not what you have lost.
To focus on the blessing and not the curse.
In the past, I regularly tried to “fix” things.
Often I tried to fix things whose complexity I did not even begin to understand. Heaven knows plenty of things seemed broken. Looking back, I made things worse far more often than I helped. These days, I try to mind my own business (for the most part), pray more, keep my opinions to myself and attempt to see the good in situations and people.
It is freeing.
I can breathe.
Life is certainly a mixed bag of wins, loses and draws. Some years you rock and some years you get stoned. I figure all we can do is to “love God, love people and don’t do dumb crap.” Beyond that most things are out of our control. And that is okay.
Control is an illusion.
Christmas reminds us that the arrival of God made flesh is bigger than our very best years; nor is it diminished by our worst years.
Christmas reminds us that despite our pain and disappointment, we have not been forgotten by God.
Christmas reminds us that we are relentlessly loved by the Creator of the cosmos. It is in the grip of this divine love I find respite from the painful side of living and discover true rest.
“God rest ye merry gentlemen.”
I am beginning to get that now…I hope you do too.
-Rev. Shane L. Bishop is the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois, the author of “Love God. Love People. Don’t Do Dumb Crap.” and of the blog “12 Things I See Happy People Do (that unhappy people do not).”