This past year has been anything but peaceful. I am a firm believer that those who hope that our society will somehow return to “normal” are delusional. Our understanding of “normal” is tied to our past experiences. We can’t really change what happened to us yesterday or for any of the past yesterdays of 2020. What we experience today is the “new norm” as we struggle to cope with changing social, health, and environmental issues. And what about tomorrow? We all try to plan for tomorrow or hope that things will be better than today, but in truth, we have no control over tomorrow either.
All of this raises our level frustration since we have been conditioned to believe that we can control all of the events that surround our lives. If you’re TV won’t turn on, call the 800 number. Need more minutes on your cell phone? Call your cell phone dealer and buy some more minutes. Hungary? Call the local pizza shop and have them deliver some pizza to your home or better yet, call for a home delivered meal from your local grocery store. Using the internet to have a gift delivered to a friend or family member? The item you just selected is OUT OF STOCK? Can’t see your relatives for Christmas because of the on-going pandemic? Buy a subscription to zoom, the new way to conduct business from your home or to pay a virtual visit to your family that resides in some remote place.
There seems to be a multitude of these irritations which now control our daily lives. We need to work at getting back in control by allowing ourselves time to think and to enjoy each day. Easy to say but hard to do. Here are some suggestions:
1. Take the time to get your proper rest and to allow your conscious mind time to clear itself before going to sleep. Your mind really never rests but it doesn’t need to keep bugging you when you are trying to sleep either.
2. Stay connected with nature and the world outside your home. Take a quiet walk along a stream. Watch how the birds and geese cope with the changing seasons. Breathing in some fresh air helps we humans cope with these things too.
3. Take comfort in the fact that you are a unique individual and have a planned agenda that was given to you by God. It’s hard enough to find your own way in life let alone trying to worry about what everyone else is doing.
4. Give part of your time to those who are less fortunate than yourself. It might be something as simple as lending a helping hand to your neighbor who is too old to get his garbage can to the street. Just a friendly smile and a friendly hello to strangers could make a big difference in their lives or a visit to someone who has helped you when you had difficult times can work wonders for the both of you.
5. Accept the fact that there are many many things that come our way in life that we have little or no control over – loss of a job, loss of a loved one, a broken relationship, a life threatening disease, or a destructive weather event. Take responsibility for what is yours and then give the rest to God to work on. He alone loves us unconditionally.
And so I wish you God’s peace at Christmas. It is sorely needed as 2020 comes to a close. Merry Christmas – James R. Bupp