It is the time of year for parties, giving, eating too much, fun decorations, and eating too much of the sweet treats that are everywhere! I know you think I am about to rant about sweets. Nope! I am also not going to suborn eating a whole box of See's candy, either. (Talk about a hangover) What I want to encourage you through this blog is to enjoy life! We who know Jesus do our best to celebrate Him and bring Him into everything we do during this season. After all, He is our joy!
I know that some people have a difficult time during the holidays. Their family is broken, they are alone, or they have haunting unpleasant memories of this time of year. My heart goes out to you. I pray that you will get a breakthrough this year and begin to enjoy this festive time of year.
In the Old Testament, there were many prescribed celebrations. Most came through Moses, but at least one, Purim, came in much later. The festivals had serious significance in both the physical and spirit realms. All of them had something within them that we do reasonably well during the Christmas holiday. They celebrated. They ate together and had a party. I know they had God at the forefront of the celebration, and sometimes we lose that, but let's learn the lesson of enjoyment!
I know pastors are going nuts right now because they want the whole scripture context and the significance of the celebrations. I get it. I am saying that we need to learn how to truly enjoy our life and each other. It's a good time of year to practice. We know how to sit around a table and scarf down some good fixins', but can we enjoy the food? Do we eat it like my dog, or enjoy every spoonful with wonder? Do we rip through opening presents like a child, or do we let the significance of the gift and the thought behind it resonate with us? When we have our morning coffee, do you enjoy it or gulp it down so you can rev your engine and get your day going? Do you see where I am going here? I have more! Do you feverishly get the dinner ready under stress and serve people without enjoying the people you are serving? Do you let the weight of getting your house ready for company rather than thinking about how your guests or family will enjoy what you are doing? We could go on for a while here. The point is, are you able to enjoy life?
The enjoyment of life is paramount to our physical, mental, and emotional health. We can't always be "having a good time," but Paul found joy in prison! In fact, it was from prison he penned, "always rejoice." I want some of that! Most of us are not facing dire circumstances but are facing the opportunity to enjoy family, friends, food, celebrations, and of course, Jesus. He is so good! He can't not be good. Every good gift comes from our Father in heaven. Soloman concluded that it is our lot in this life, which is very brief, to enjoy the works of your hands, your wife (spouse), and the food on your table. I agree.
Don't forget about eating well or getting enough sleep or anything else that will benefit your life and thus the lives of the people around you, but enjoy yourself. Be delighted in all that God has given you. Have some fun with your family. Wear the weird thing that someone gifted you. Enjoy the dinner and the dessert I know you will eat. Pick out all the flavors. Chew well and enjoy your beverages. Laugh at dumb jokes. Get on the floor and play with your grandkids. Enjoy the decorations. Most of all, enjoy God's presence with you. Acknowledge Him every step of the way. Thank Him often. Merry Christmas!