By Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST News Service
ALBUQEURQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS – December 4, 2016) — It’s that time of year: busyness. There’s parties to attend, presents to purchase, programs and church events to concentrate on, and family and friends to host. There doesn’t seem to be a dull moment during the holidays.
What’s one to do in the midst of a busy and hectic schedule? Where do we find relief? Here are four P’s to percolate.
Pray. The first thing every believer should do in busy times — and in all times for that matter — is pray. Prayer gives perspective. Pray gives precedence to God—above all the factors pulling for your attention. And though prayer doesn’t change God, it will change you, reminding you that God is the real reason for the holidays, that there’s purpose behind the panic. So no need to have your nerves pinched, simply take time to pray; allow God to penetrate your day!
Prioritize. With so many options and obligations during the holiday season, one may feel pulled to the point of no return. To help offset this, you’ll need to prioritize the events in accordance to importance. This may mean you’ll need to make a list of things, considering their value. Determine which events are urgent — a must, and those that are important, but not necessary. In the long run be supple with your schedule, pliable with your priorities, know when to say no and learn to enjoy the ride.
Pace. As the holidays happen, it’s not uncommon to have multiple events in the same week, or even on the same day. To keep your mind from exploding, pace yourself. Pace means to take a single step, moving at a consistent speed in the same direction. Pacing includes setting a tangible schedule, making modifications — if needed, recognizing the reason behind the rabble by moving at manageable rate. And remember: life will go on if you’re late — or heaven forbid — decline an event. Take one step at a time to relieve the pressure. And if you get tired, do yourself a favor — relax. New research suggests that relaxation is good for you — in more way than one, including heart health, mental health, and decision-making (something dearly needed during the holidays) .
Ponder. To ponder means to think carefully about something, to deliberate and meditate. In short, it is focused thinking. Happiness and brain health go together; there’s power in positive thoughts . And as odd as it sounds that thinking can be good for you—just don’t overthink, particularly in areas that cause stress and pressure . Instead, think on things like truth (God is love), things that are noble (helping others), things that are pure (love for a child), things that are lovely (a good book, movie, a cup of tea, or fellowship), and beautiful (nature). The key words in this list are not mine; the Apostle Paul gave them in Philippians 4: 8, challenging Christians to “think on these things.” The word for “think on” is logizomai. It means to “take an inventory,” to “esteem.” In hectic times remember to “take an inventory” of the things in your life that provide meaning and reprise — esteem them, pondering their significance as gifts from God.
Instead of holiday scheduling-pain, let the 4 P’s of relief permeate your mind. Remember to pray, prioritize, pace, and ponder during this holiday season, allowing God to whisper His wonder in your over-extended ears, reminding you that He is the Remedy in the revel, the Presence in the midst of the pressure.
Photo captions: 1) Too busy. 2) Too busy not to pray. 3) Brian Nixon.
About the writer: Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, and minister. He’s a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus (BA) and is a Fellow at Oxford Graduate School (D.Phil.). To learn more, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Nixon.
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