Isn’t life crazy arround the holidays? Think about all that Christmas shopping, all the sales gimmicks, the political maneuvers, the work we get stuck with ’cause ‘Joe” left on vacation… It’s enough to make one crazy, stressed or even depressed!

I admit, I had my moment a few days ago when everything, including the car breaking down, happened at once. I thought I was going to lose it; the stress was beyond my ability to cope.  Here is how I handled it:

First of all, I have to tell you that I have over an hour commute to and from work. On my way home instead of my normal radio stations, I tuned into something with Christmas music. I tried to forget everything bugging me and just listened for a while. I pondered what Christmas was like as a kid; waking up very early, looking through the stocking, going to see the tree, etc… I remembered caroling at people’s homes. I thought of the meaning behind the season. I thought of what we should learn and remember from that birth. 

Then before I realised what had happened I started singing along with Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole. I am sure I sounded like crap, because I barely remembered the words, but something happened. I began to feel all that stress melt away. I was thinking with the big picture in mind; I was able to see how the little things (although moments earlier felt huge) didn’t matter in the long run. Those things would be solved soon enough.  I also realised that the very freedom to worship has been somewhat threatened in the USA, and that my voice, if principled, will stand out over many.

The most important thing that happened was I began to have hope.  Hope is what makes life worth living, makes it bearable, makes us change our lives for the better. It gives us the strength to overcome the odds. I remember hearing a story, many years ago, about a man who survived the NAZI internment camps by keeping hope. I remember a statement he made that went something like this: You can take my property, my freedom, my family, and my life, but you can’t take my mind, my heart, and my hope.

May everyone keep that hope, and strive against the odds to make a wonderful life for themselves and those arround them. God bless, and merry Christmas!

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