The holidays are upon us. This also means holiday shopping is upon us. Holiday shopping on top of holiday events and an already packed schedule can be a recipe for anxiety, stress and anger. It can so easily happen. And anger is often misdirected. It can be seen anywhere. A person is angry at something else that has happened and takes it out on the worker at the fast food restaurant who simply forgot a sauce. A person is hurt because of something that was said and lashes out at the receptionist in the doctor’s office who is just trying to follow a policy she didn’t create. Someone else is dealing with medical issues and takes it out on the driver that cut him off. These are already reactions that happen and when compacted with the holidays, this can become a real problem, real fast.
What can we do about it all? We can’t make someone else not yell at the worker or the receptionist or the driver. We can’t stop others from carrying their anger and taking it out on the first person to receive it. We can’t make others see that Christmas is not about all of the things which bring up so much anxiety. What we can do is work on us. I can work on me. You can work on you. We can make sure we are not the one yelling at the restaurant worker. We can make sure we are not the one becoming hateful at the doctor’s office. We can take a deep breath when we are cut off in traffic and simply be okay. We can change ourselves. We can find kindness in us. We can be the difference. We can show love where there seems to be so little of it.
This year, I think this is especially important. We not only have stress and anxiety with the holidays, but we also have this pandemic we are all having to deal with. This year, we can make even more of an impact. If you have the love of Christ in you – share that instead of your anger. If you have the peace of Christ in you – let that rule your hearts and minds rather than hatred. If you have the hope of Christ in you – let that hope shine through so brightly others see the hope in you. If you have the joy of Christ in you – may it be the first thing others notice. We make the difference if we have Christ living in us. What is shining through you today?
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery