December 7, 2011
ĎTis the season for hot cocoa, for Christmas cookies, and for twinkling lights.
ĎTis the season for hunting down perfect gifts for loved ones.
ĎTis the season for lots of down time.
ĎTis the season for spending time with family, and catching up with friends from home.
ĎTis the season for reconciliation.
I know most of you will go home and intentionally do absolutely nothing for the first few days of the break (that is, assuming your mother doesnít already have a lengthy to-do list with your name on it).
I challenge you, however, to do something productive with your weeks off.
For me, the past four months have filled my mind with papers, projects, and exams. I have had little time for any introspection, and little time to be alone with my own thoughts.
For many of you, you may find yourself in the same place as I. Being free of responsibility will be overwhelming in and of itself. Having no assignments to worry about will leave you with room for your own thoughts for the first time in months.
I challenge you to intentionally embrace the time you have to think.
It may be difficult. Most of us find silence painful, which is why we make sure that our thoughts are constantly drowned out by television, music, and social media.
Heck, Iíve checked my twitter six times while writing this column because Iím such an offender.
Donít do that.
Delete social media if you have to.
If you donít use social media, kudos to you.
I challenge you to get rid of the noise, allow yourself to hear your own thoughts for once, and do something about them.
I have been really convicted about this idea lately, because the idea of reconciliation has been buzzing in my ear like a mosquito, and I keep swatting it away to deal with at a time when due dates arenít impending.
A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a friend about bitterness. She shared with me that she had asked God to reveal to her everyone whom she was harboring bitterness towards, and that she was overwhelmed by the names that flooded her mind.
She wrote each name down as they came to her, and by the end, the names filled several pages of notebook paper.
One by one, she is learning to forgive.
This conversation convicted me quite a bit, and I decided to do the same.
I, too, have been overwhelmed. I had no idea how many people I had anger towards. I had no idea how many people I hadnít forgiven. I had no idea how much work is ahead of me.
It wonít be pleasant at first, but I challenge you to do the same.
Some of the people who come to mind will deserve a spoken apology. Some people wonít even remember who you are, and consequently, that bitterness is something you need to let go of on your own. You wonít be ready to forgive some people, but that doesnít give an excuse to put off beginning that process.
In a season thatís filled with reunions with friends and family whom we donít get to see very often, it would be a shame to waste an opportunity to mend a relationship. This might be your last chance for quite some time.
Forgiveness never hurt anyone.
Swallow your pride, stop waiting for the other person to make the first step, and do something.