And so the busy season is about to begin. A season full of friends, yummy food, wonderful memories, shopping for the perfect costume, buying candy for the little kids, feeling guilty for eating half the candy you were supposed to pass out (or feeling guilty for going door-to-door at age 16), stressing about the 2 pounds you put on due to mini-sized Snickers (seriously, you didn’t eat two pounds of candy, HOW does that work? It makes no sense), working out to lose those 2 pounds, stressing about finding the perfect gifts for the 1,000 names on your list, family visits, stressing about family visits, cleaning (or being made to clean) for family visits, eating turkey and stuffing, feeling guilty about eating SO MUCH turkey and stuffing (and, let’s face it, pumpkin pie), not sleeping so you can beat out everyone else to get the best deal in the store for that pair of shoes, wrapping the 1,000 presents so that they look more like works of art than actual boxes or bags, Christmas parties, cooking (or buying food) for Christmas parties, finding outfits for those Christmas parties, finals, actual Christmas….and…well, I could keep going if you want.
It’s a wonderful season! And it’s also a season that, as with all good things, can get completely out of hand. Let’s face it – not “can get”, it’s more “WILL get completely out of control”. SO, before it all starts, in this last ten days before Halloween and the craziness takes over, take time to look around you.
Here in Colorado, it’s fall. And, miraculously, this year, we’ve actually gotten a fall! We have trees in so many gorgeous colors, AND they’ve been colored for weeks now! THAT RARELY HAPPENS in Colorado. Usually we have one week of cooler weather, all the leaves turn brown, and then just fall off – dead and depressing. But not this year! We have glorious, colorful, wonderful fall (I’m not at all excited in case you couldn’t tell).
I don’t know what October looks like for you wherever you are, but if it’s nice enough outside – go OUTSIDE! In Colorado, go sit under a tree that looks like what I imagine liquid gold looks like. Don’t bring anything with you. Just sit. For 3 minutes – 3 minutes, that’s all I’m asking. Breathe in the crisp air. Close your eyes. Thank God for your life, for the His beauty in the world around you, for His part in the season that’s about to start.
And remember, as we’re about to start this season of craziness, that everything is supposed to be about Him. After all, if you’re a Christian, the reason we celebrate Christmas is because of Him (I don’t care if that’s the original reason for the holiday or not, HE’s what we celebrate now). Thanksgiving, ultimately, is about HIM, not about a bunch of Pilgrims. Those pilgrims couldn’t have survived that first winter if it wasn’t for Him. And Halloween, well… I’m not going there. BUT, the day after Halloween is All Saints Day (did you know that?), and that’s a celebration of people who have lived a faithful life, lived a life God-centered. So, He’s there too.
Take a moment to just stop before this all starts, and remember Who is the reason for all of our excessive celebrating*. Thank Him. And then keep Him in mind as we enter this self-induced insanity.
*For the record, God LOVES celebrating! And He’s God, so He totally deserves excessive celebrating. I don’t want you to think I’m telling you not to celebrate, because that’s not my point at all. If that’s what you’ve thought – go back and re-read. Just be sure that He’s the point of your celebration. That’s all I ask.