So it’s Christmas (almost!). That time of year when parental stress peaks temporarily; family conflicts fly off the handle; the busyness of consumerism feels like it will drown us!
We cannot deny that for most people the time of glad tidings and joy is more like a giant tidal wave of tasks! This seems to be the accepted norm of this time of year – “we’ve just got to keep going until Christmas and then we can flop” becomes our mantra.
But is this the way Christmas is meant to be?
As a I look at the original Christmas story there is definitely a lot to be stressed about.
Mary is travelling on a donkey! Joseph has been considering a silent divorce. They have no hotel booked – I mean, how negligent is that! There’s no hospital to give birth in – the best they can find is a stable! They are miles from their families and support structures (now that’s something many of us can identify with in todays’ working market!!). Stress, stress, stress.
Yet despite this they manage. They manage to get digs for the night. They manage to have a healthy birth in the stable. They are not short of helpful visitors. They cope.
Sometimes you just need to keep on going and you’ll find that you actually can cope.
For Joseph and Mary their coping mechanism was found in God. They found faith in what he told them, and surprisingly it did all work out. Maybe not as they intended. Maybe not as nice as they wanted. But it did all work out in the end.
Keep on Keeping on simply because…you can”
Perhaps like me, you just need to keep on keeping on. Perhaps we do need to just keep going until we can have the rest that Christmas provides us with. I’m looking forward to spending days with my wife and kids where we can just BE. Days with close friends to just laugh, and eat and drink and be fun!
Whatever you are facing I trust that you will keep on going. Keep going because you can. Keep going because somehow, in it all, you will grow stronger in life and faith.