Take a deep breath – now

By Gerry Lewis | Published Wednesday, December 27, 2017

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Christmas 2017 is now Christmas past. What does your house look like at this very moment?

Every home is different.

Some are experiencing post-Christmas hangover. I’m not talking about those who had too much to drink. I’m referring to the approach of letting the celebration linger over a few days. New toys (for kids and grownups) are still strewn about among the other trappings of the Christmas celebrations. Decorations are still up. The last leftovers from the feast are being creatively repurposed at mealtimes. Out of town guests are slowly trickling out the door with sad goodbyes.

Some are experiencing post-Christmas letdown. The pre-Christmas preparations were intense – so many responsibilities. So much cooking. So much decorating. So much shopping. It was weeks of full-on, full-blast, full-speed Christmas prep right up until the guests started arriving. Now, everyone has gone home. It’s time to start getting back to normal. But normal feels a little empty after the adrenaline rush of the past few weeks.

Some are experiencing post-Christmas back to business. The decorations went back in the boxes the day after Christmas (or maybe even Christmas night). Break’s over. There’s work to be done. 2018 is right around the corner, and we need to hit the ground running.

Some are experiencing post-Christmas exactly what they experienced pre-Christmas and on Christmas – loneliness, isolation, neglect, need, sorrow, grief …

May I make a suggestion?

Take a deep breath.

No matter what your house looks like, what your life looks like, what your job looks like, or even what this very moment looks like … take a deep breath.

Inhale slowly. Hold it. Exhale.

Do it again.

The air that you are breathing is God’s gift to you. The ability you have to breathe is God’s gift to you.

Look at these words again. The ability you have to see is God’s gift to you. The ability that you have to read came through someone who was God’s gift to you. If you are wearing glasses or contact lenses, those helpers are God’s gift to you.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

“For in him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:8)

Christmas is not an isolated day (or even a few days) in a vacuum. It is a reminder that the God who gives us every good thing we have, the God in whom we live and move and exist, came near to us in the flesh in the form of a baby in Bethlehem.

Your life matters to Him. Right here. Right now. No matter what circumstances you are in at the moment. No matter what today feels like. You matter.

Breathe that in.

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association in Decatur.

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