St. Paul encourages us to live in hope (and harmony). His message today tells us that by endurance and by the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. In this day and age it is difficult to keep our minds and hearts on God, especially at this time of the year when consumerism Christmas is in your face at every turn. We are bombarded with messages of buying into this societal ‘ideal’ and it is not easy to ignore, and it is so easy to be tempted!
John the Baptist reminds us in strong language today to “produce good fruit as evidence of repentance,” in order to prepare the way of the Lord to be born in us. It is so difficult in Advent to focus on a scriptural life and spiritual growth when the secular world has us twisting and turning about Christmas. It is hard to work toward peace, especially inner peace, in the midst of frenetic living. But; this is what we are called to do. So, how do we cope?
I have decided to reprint/rework a list of ‘Christian De-stressors’ that I shared with you a few years ago. It’s a lot to think about—but even doing one of them can make a change for the better for you, can make life and all the rest easier and give you a small taste of the Kingdom to come. Hope it helps!
- Pray. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait!
- Go to bed on time. Get enough rest.
- Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed. Allow extra time to do things, to get to places.
- Say No to projects that won't fit into your time schedule or will compromise your mental health. 5. Delegate tasks to capable others.
- Simplify, unclutter your life, less is more. Organize, everything has its place.
- Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't do it all at once.
- Take one day at a time. Do something for the Kid in You everyday. Slow down!
- Separate worries from concerns. If a concern, ask God what to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.
- Eat right. Or even better. Fill up on plant-based food. Small changes in your diet will add up.
- Get moving, even a little bit. Our bodies were made to move.
- Every day, find some time to be alone—even a few moments—maybe for breath prayer.
- Make friends with Godly people.
- Live within your budget.
- Have backups: an extra house or car key available when needed, an extra phone charger handy.
- K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This advice can prevent enormous trouble. Talk less; listen more.
- Take your work seriously, but yourself not at all. Sit on your ego.
- Read the Bible while waiting in a line—carry one or download to your phone.
- Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).
- Laugh. Then laugh some more!
- Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).
- Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe, God is.
- Write down thoughts and inspirations.
- Every night before you sleep, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before. Sometimes he shortest bridge between despair and hope is a good “Thank you Jesus.”