Lessons from a 10-Year Old
Read: “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)
Reflect: My son played flag football year-round for more than 2 years and never had a losing season. His last two seasons, they were undefeated champions. He had a blast. Then he decided to try baseball. Most of his team, my son included, had never played before, and it wasn’t pretty. They lost nearly every game, often by a mile. And you know what? He had a blast. He tapped into the inherent joy of the sport, and figured out how to have fun, win or lose.
I know God desires us to find contentment in all circumstances – good, bad, and ugly. However, as the holidays approach, I can feel the joy seeping from my body, replaced with stress. The pressure of dealing with my least favorite circumstances – traffic, parking, shopping, parties – is enough to make me want to close my eyes and wake up in January. Yet there is so much inherent joy in this season. If I can tap into the source – the birth and love of Christ – I can experience that joy, no matter how crazy things get. And if I carry that focus beyond the holiday season, when faced with the stressors of everyday life, I can experience that joy year-round.
This requires me to be intentional every day. It requires me to follow the example set by my son, who kept his chin up after each defeat…who, when asked if he wanted to return to football next season, smiled and said no. Because he wanted to play baseball.
React: Do you struggle to be content in the face of challenges? Focus on Jesus and experience the joy he wants for you.
Pray: Lord, help me center myself in the miracle of your love this holiday season and beyond.