Could someone forget their disabilities or limitations? I did. After living without sight for decades, I often forget I can't see.
And dismissing that very thing, sometimes I rush to get ready to go out. I admit it, I'm a wait-to-the-last-minute kind of gal. I rush around like a crazy woman. I hop in the shower, slip on my robe and dash into my walk-in closet. Frantically, I slide hangers, looking for any outfit to wear.
How do I do this with no sight? It's pretty simple. When I purchase an item, I store in my memory its characteristics—the texture, the shape of the neckline, buttons or length of sleeve.
One light touch tells me what the item is. But when I'm in a hurry, trying to find the right outfit gets a bit tough. Not because I can't see, but because I just have too many clothes. Way more than any blind gal should be allowed to have. The bar holding all those hangers is probably sagging from the weight.
A Jam-Packed Life
Oh, how my jammed closet resembled my life—full of tasks of all kinds and sizes.
Have you been there? Some of us are programmed that way. And with no hesitation, we joined the people-pleasers club. We have been members ever since we were young. We tried to perform to win our parents' and teachers' approval. Later on, we wanted to please our family, employer and friends. Phew! We're deceived into thinking the only way to please ourselves is by pleasing others.
What an unpleasant and often hard place to be. And to make it worse, the pleasing craze explodes during holiday season. We rush through life eager to make someone happy and win their approval. That's when the level of stress and tension rises like the thermometer in Orlando's summer.
Time to change. How about if we vow to cool off? God never meant for us to live in the heat of tension. He gave one refreshing directive: "'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?' Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind'" (Matt. 22:36-37).
When God becomes our focus, when loving Him above all and longing to please Him alone rises to the top of priorities, and when seeking His approval fuels our thoughts and actions, peace reigns.
Five Steps to Peace
And while the rest of the world sinks in stress, we celebrate by following these five steps:
- Invite God into our day.
- Use wisdom to arrange our priorities.
- Commit our tasks to Him.
- Thank Him ahead of time for resolving the challenges of the day.
- Relish in moments of rest.
Obeying His greatest commandment ushers in wisdom to avoid stress, to press forth when fatigued, to bring clarity when confused, to be calm when overwhelmed and to know the warmth of His love when we know we please Him above all.
That's why God says in Psalm 127:2b (MSG), "It's useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don't you know He enjoys giving rest to those He loves?"
Father, I know You love me. You offer rest for my soul and calmness for my heart. I commit this truth to sing in my heart, not only for this season, but always. In Jesus' name, amen.
Whom will you aim to please this Christmas?
Janet Perez Eckles is an international speaker and the author of four books. She has helped thousands conquer fear and bring back joy.
This article originally appeared at janetperezeckles.com.
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