Just like the original Christmas, things are hardly “all calm and bright” at the moment. But, even amid the current chaos in the world, take stock of the positive impact others have had on you this past year, and let them know how grateful you are for them. It may be just the encouragement they need!
- Stop. Take a moment to simply stop and breathe.
- Reflect and review. Think about people who have had a meaningful impact on you this year.
- Respond. Let them know by handwriting a short note of thanks and mailing it to them.
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I have a real problem with the Christmas carol “Silent Night”.
All is calm? All is bright? I don’t think so! You’ve got to realize what’s going on. Mary is nine months pregnant. Mary and Joseph are having to travel miles away to Bethlehem to be counted in a nationwide census. They pull up at a hotel and then are told there’s absolutely no room. She is ready to give birth, and they are shown a stable, in amidst animals and animal smells. . .
And yet, in that chaos, one of the most fantastic gifts is accorded to humanity. In that swirl of everything going on, for that moment, there’s absolute perfection and brilliance brought to bear, that we all benefit from. You don’t want to let moments like this go by, simply waiting for surroundings that are so peaceful and perfect.
We have gone through a swirl of issues this year, the last two years, and they’re not going to simply go away January 1, with the turning of a diary page. We are going to have political issues coming out of Washington. We are going to have pandemic challenges. We are going to have the weather issues continuing to impact us. But nevertheless, there are some great things happening, and you want to notice them. Most importantly, notice the people who are creating them within your life.
Sometimes they’re not even going to be aware of having an impact on you. Just like Mary and Joseph were having baby Jesus in a chaotic situation, and some of the first people to benefit from this were the lowly shepherds. Lowest on the socioeconomic totem pole, these shepherds simply saw a star, heard an angel, and went to find this baby. Mary and Joseph wouldn’t have had a clue these people were going to be impacted by what they’ve just experienced, and, yet, that’s often how it happens.
So this time, especially at Christmastime, take stock of the people who are most important to you, and
Don’t wait for circumstances to be peaceful, to be mild, to be serene. We’re simply not going to get there. Don’t let that fact overshadow phenomenal things that are taking place in your life and gifts to you, accorded to you, by people who might not even realize just how much they’re having a positive impact on you. Because that’s exactly what God did with having his son, Jesus Christ, born. He interrupts history to give us a phenomenal gift, even in the midst of chaos, letting us know what really matters most.
From my family to yours, have a wonderful, peaceful, very merry Christmas!
- Stop. Just stop for five minutes. At the end of this video, just take some deep breaths in and out.
- Reflect and review. Think about those people who have had some wonderful impact on your life this year. Think about those people who have done meaningful things for you. No matter how small it might seem to them, think about how important it was for you.
- Respond. Just write a simple handwritten note and mail it to them. Resist the temptation to shoot off a quick email. Spend five minutes just writing a note to three or four people who have had a fantastic impact upon you. Let them know that they are top of your mind and that you really care, amidst all of this chaos, especially at this time of year, during Christmastime.