The truth is, I'm just like everybody else out there. I'm stressed. My schedule is chaotic. People are clingy that need to back off; people that need to hang around disappear; people that are supposed to be giving direction and guidance give the run around - we can't seem to get it right. It's misfires, miscommunications, and misunderstandings all around. Everybody has too much to do and too little time. I'm no better than the rest.
And yet, I want to do better myself. I want to handle things better. I want to be more patient, and understanding, and to handle the natural increases that come with the holiday season with more grace and fortitude than I have in the past. So what's the answer? How do you break the pattern?
I picked up one of my C.S. Lewis books a few minutes ago, and read something that might be helpful. It said that when we say The Lord's Prayer, our addressing God as "our Father" is "dressing up as Christ." We're called to be more Christlike, so the way we're advised to achieve that is to get in the role - even though our faults and fobilies make us woefully inadequate to even dare to step into this role - so we can learn to rise to it. We're commanded to act the part. This isn't "fake it till you make it" mentality, but rather, stretching ourselves to achieve above and beyond our current capacity so we can rise to a higher level, as the Lord helps and guides us.
So, if I want to be more patient when things are hectic, then I need to take a deep breath and act like I'm still holding it together, even if I really feel like smashing the telephone with a hammer if it rings ONE MORE TIME. It means continuing to ask relevant questions when people are giving me the run around to encourage them to open up, instead of telling them to get their crap together. It means encouraging people to find their gifts and to use them to become more independent instead of telling them to quit being a clingy pain in the rear. It means engaging in "prayer without ceasing," which means to lift up my burdens instead of trying to plow them through my own.
I said yesterday that I found people could match me "attitude for attitude" when I called them on their wrongs. Obviously, that wasn't a good approach. Maybe this is a better way. So instead of driving like maniacs, losing our cool, honking horns, and popping off, why don't we try a better way? Why don't we take Lewis' advice and act like the better people we want to be? Really, why wait until January 1st to make new beginnings? The Lord's mercies are new every morning, and every day is a chance to start again. Let's start right, now, by acting like the people we want Santa Clause to believe we are ;)
Oh no, I'm not innocent. But I don't want to be guilty any more, either. I'm trying to do better; I really am. And there's no reason why we can't all do better this holiday season, with the Lord's help.
That's all today. Next entry, I'll pass along some fun, inexpensive gift ideas.