The Christmas season is upon us! You can feel it in the air!
Admittedly, I love the “hustle and bustle” of the holidays as much as anyone else. It’s fun to see people out-and-about, shopping for loved ones and attending seasonal events. As much as we talk about “slowing down” in this blog, it’s important to note that there is nothing inherently wrong with some of the craziness that accompanies this time of year. That being said, as with all things, you must approach each situation with moderation and thoughtful, intentional consideration.
Regardless of how busy or how light the holidays are for you and your family this year, it should always be a priority for you to take time for yourself to regroup and reflect. Yes, Christmas is often an opportunity for us, as gentlemen, to give of ourselves and pour out into others. And yes, we are to be diligent in our seeking out of those opportunities and quick to respond to them with a servant’s heart! But with that being said, however, we are to know our own limits, and be wise with our time. As we each know all too well, spreading yourself too thin can happen extremely quickly, and the holidays seem to only exaggerate that.
Be diligent, gentlemen. Be wise with your time and ensure that as you pour out, you are also being filled up. Ensure, as always, that you are surrounding yourself with other good men who can walk closely with you and bear your burdens alongside you. With this season comes many joys and treasured memories, but it can also bring complex dynamics and tense conversations. Make sure you are taking the time you need to assess how you are doing, and how you can do better, as this holiday season plunges forward. Do not live passively. Have the courage to step away when needed, and reflect on your actions, relationships, decisions, and motivations.
Be aware, if this is something you are trying for the first time this year, that it may feel a bit odd, selfish even. But I can assure you, brother, that you will be able to serve more humbly, love more deeply, and give more graciously if you are not operating out of a place of exhaustion and frustration. It’s simple, really. The more you fill up, the more you will be able to pour out.
I must always be sure to specify, whenever I talk about seeking out moments of rest, that there is a very clear line between rest, and laziness. Do not toe that line, gentlemen. If your wife needs help vacuuming the house right before the in-laws come over, don’t even try to tell her that “I am being intentional in my moment of restfulness so that I may pour out of myself more abundantly”. That is not only a blatant excuse for laziness, but is completely outside the goal of setting aside time for yourself. You do that SO that you can serve, not so you can shirk responsibility. So please, be present to your loved ones and attentive to their needs. You can be intentional to rest, and actively seeking opportunities to serve those around you at the same time.
So go. Go with the courage to do things differently this year. Go and be wise with your time, and faithful in your commitment to the moments you are able to set aside for yourself. It just may become one of your favorite holiday traditions!