Holidays serve as a gateway to an array of emotions. With bells ringing, people singing and folks being extra nice an observer might perceive holidays as total bliss and happiness. This perception of bliss and happiness is not without merit, but often there can be an unseen underlining unresolved matter that attempts to steal joy from the holiday. These unexpected matters arrive from the simple task of living life. There is no amount of preparation that provides for the elimination of reminders from life that we wish to forget.
Marking and highlighting positive milestones from our lives is that which comes naturally. We purposely remember such experiences and moments because they are happy times, and we naturally cherish good times and great memories. Life is a teacher and as a student, I have witnessed the work of teachers. There are times that teachers are talking the entire class period, explaining and calling to our attention as students important items, situations or issues. Teachers spend time writing on chalkboards, handing out papers, and silently grading homework and tests. Life as a teacher hands-out assignments too. These tasks of life include tests of character, study moments for making decisions, and unanswered questions that the answer seems to be lost on a stack of papers sitting on the teachers desk. It is these assignments that attempt to rob from us the gift of joy. A thief is no friend of mine, yet I have found myself hanging out in his presence and stayed way too long in his company.
The loss of a child, medical conditions, unemployment, a breakup in a relationship, these and other life assignments can be challenging to deal with. These situations can steal away our peace, happiness, comfort and even our futures. Personally, I will never be able to forget some of life’s homework I’ve been handed. Some of these lessons I’ve not yet completed the homework assignment. Loss is something that you and I may forever deal with. If this is true, then the only workable answer is to trust through faith that God has a plan. During holidays life continues to be a teacher. In school we had a Christmas break, but life occurs everyday, without exception. Too much of anything can be a problem. Keeping our emotions in balance is not just a holiday experience but rather a life assignment.