Wisdom for the Holidays

The holidays are oftentimes when we’ve got this projection of how wonderful it is for everyone to get together.  Family is important. Oftentimes families the that are tightest are also the most tangled.  People who are very close to each other and very dependent on each other also get very irritated with one another.  Put them all in the same room and oftentimes bad things happen.  I would encourage everyone who is getting ready to go home for the holidays and thinking about the awkward times to remember it is very easy to go home with all your walls up and all your defenses up–your  goal: to navigate through the holiday without them saying “that.”  But if you go home prepared for the first time that person says “that,” you have braced yourself to take offense.  It would be far better to go home for the holidays with your goal to drive away  and leave them wondering what happened to you.  How are you going to approach this differently where your behavior is different? And by different, I don’t mean more defensive.  Let your defenses down. Let yourself be wounded.  Let yourself be vulnerable.  Obviously, there are some circumstances where you cannot afford do this because the sin is so heinous or so difficult.  But with general garden variety family problems, we can afford to let our defenses down, take a few bruises (for the sake of the family), respond with grace, and leave with the hope and the prayer that they will be wondering  what happened to us rather than us wondering why they are getting so increasingly difficult.  In other words, in this tangle, you might be a player.  You might be a contributor to it and not even know that you are.  So the fundamental prayer before holidays should be:  “Lord, change me.  Lord,  teach me.” ~Douglas Wilson

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