Altar Call Ė Opelika-Auburn News
December 29, 2013
What to do when Christmas is past
††††††† We spend great energy preparing for the Christmas celebration. So what do we do when Santa has come and gone? Allow me to offer a few suggestions.
††††††† Begin by relaxing. The rush is over. Laugh a little. Be at peace. Pat yourself on the back. You made it. You did not collapse under the pressure. Life goes on. You are still here so ponder ways you can bring meaning to your life. Peace wins. Anxiety loses.
††††††† Be kind to the people around you. But go beyond the people who care about you. Be kind to someone who irritates you, someone who will be surprised that you do not return rudeness to their ill-mannered behavior. Kindness wins. Rudeness loses.
††††††† Share something you got for Christmas with someone, a person who needs it more than you do. If you got two new ties, give one away. Have more cookies than you need to eat? Give some to a lonely person who may not have any. Generosity wins. Stinginess loses.
††††††† Sit down and write a note to a few people who mean the world to you. Let the special people in your life know you are grateful for the difference they make in your life. Donít be embarrassed to say ďI love you.Ē No lengthy epistle is necessary. A simple expression of affection will be sufficient. Gratitude wins. Ingratitude loses.
††††††† Set some reasonable goals for the coming year. To fail to plan is to fail. Think of things you can do to enrich your life. Make a short list, not a long one. Then prioritize and get busy on your first goal. Take action instead of merely reacting. Be responsible for your own life. Be willing to make sacrifices to accomplish your goals. Strategy wins. Lethargy loses.
††††††† Work on your bad habits. Got several? Pick out one that bothers the people around you and decide to overcome it. You can change if you are willing. Donít talk about it. Just do it. Be patient with yourself but be relentless in your effort to improve. You can do it. Fortitude wins. Weakness loses.
††††††† Find someone who is suffering and offer compassion. All around us are people in pain, perhaps someone who canít find a job, someone whose marriage failed, someone who lost a loved one, or someone enduring a terminal illness. Offer compassion that goes beyond words. Offer to go after groceries for an elderly person who no longer drives. Do something that looks like love. Caring wins. Indifference loses.
††††††† Ask forgiveness from someone you have offended. In so doing an enemy could become a friend. Donít let a wounded relationship fester. Offer a sincere apology. Without forgiveness life is impossible. Is it hard to admit you were wrong? Of course it is! But you will be a bigger person when you do it. Stop blaming the other person and take responsibility for your own behavior. Forgiveness wins. Blame loses.
††††††† If you write columns for newspapers, be brief for a change. People are busy watching football games. Give them a break. Brevity wins. Verbosity loses.
††††††† Christmas is past. The New Year is just ahead. Be a winner! + + +