So tell me….the holiday that you began in the Spirit…did you perfect in the flesh? (Galatians 3:3)
Unfortunately, I’ve done this far too many times.
It usually looks something like this:
- I’m all prayed up for the holidays.
- The sweetness of the season has warmed my heart.
- The anticipation of seeing loved ones again excites me. The spirit of the memories have selectively teased me into dreaming of a calm visit.
Then, the early mornings of back to back interaction begin to take their toll. Quiet times are rushed or skipped altogether…..I begin to notice that I am getting on someone’s nerves, and by Jeeves, they are getting on mine, too.
Somehow, all of the togetherness squeezes out the awareness of His Presence….
(Am I hitting a nerve, yet?)
Granted, I still haven’t obtained perfection in this regard (just ask my family!), but I have slowly heard Him speak some practicalities that keep me turned His direction:
Slow down – on both your expectations and their timing.
Since you and I are involved, it won’t be the perfect holiday. God has been working on our idiosyncrasies all year without achieving perfection. Why do we think that our helpful “hints” or expectations towards others is going to change their behavior in a few days?
Slow down – on getting dressed.
When you race to the bathroom to throw on some clothes, grant yourself some extra time to spend with the Father. Take your headphones and audio Bible in the bathroom with you. Or have some Scripture cards written and ready with your toilet items. Allowing His truth to wash over you may prove more important than a shower.
Slow down – on speaking what you think.
The holidays are hardly ever the best time to fix anyone or anything. Before speaking a “truth” to someone ask yourself, “Will this build up or tear them down?” Every gift that He gave is for building up the body, not for tearing them down (Ephesians 4:12).
Slow down – and hand your next action to Him.
After all, giving Him your choices is what being connected to the Vine is all about (John 15:1). I’ve found it helpful to not join every game, or every movie, or every discussion. Pull away from time to time so that you can purposefully realign yourself underneath His authority. Yes, you may miss some hilarious incident, but in all likelihood, you’ll also skip saying something you may later regret.
What Spirit-hints has He taught you for enjoying close quarters?