Deepening our Faith
For me it takes work to avoid falling into the spending craziness of the holiday shopping season.Instead, I want to deepen my faith, to understand in new ways the gift of Jesus Christ for the world. So instead of writing about all the craziness, let me say a few words about how I am attempting to deepen my relationship to Christ. I avoid watching t.v. there are many good things about the message of the t.v. shows this time of year, but for me I pick very carefully what I watch. I get easily overwhelmed with too much stimuli, so for me to choose to be quiet, and enjoy the quiet whenever and wherever I can. This means I do not keep a running soundtrack of christmas music either, but choose instead to go to live performances of music, which are much more meaningful, especially the sacred music written with the goal of deepening our faith in Christ. I consider these art dates, which connects my creative self with the Great Creator.
Second, I say no. I really appreciate all the events that happen this time of year, but I cannot be present at them all. So I pick and choose. I do not mean to hurt anyones feelings, but saying no to every event helps me appreciate the ones I say yes to even more. There are some I have to do, like sing the Messiah, cause I just have to, but there are other events like meetings which are important but can function just fine without me for this month.
Third, I plan ahead, I start planning for worship back in September, and this year added a retreat to plan the year back in October. This way I can focus on worship themes for Advent in a more restful time, rather than waiting to the last minute. I know this sounds simple, but for me it is a radical change cause I usually like to get wait to the week before to plan worship. But this year, I chose the theme and resources far ahead and it is easy to make changes, but I feel a lot less panic!
Fourth, do not read the sale circulars every week! There is so much on sale, so much offered, so many deals, I can get overwhelmed. Now I am thinking more about what the person would like and then go and find the best deal, rather than finding a great deal and then finding a person who would like it!
You may have other ideas, and I will keep adding as the season rolls round, I welcome your feedback!