I don’t know of a time of year that has more potential to be more oppressive, more directive, or more influential regarding thoughts and emotions than this time of year — this “holiday season.”
And that emotion of discontent will grip me if I don’t daily determine to keep a settled heart.
The ads in the internet sidebars, the magazines, music in the stores, signs, newspapers, mailers, radio commercials: all designed to influence and appeal to our mind, will, and emotions. You may not have needed a single thing this morning, for example, but by the time you glanced at Newspaper, Facebook, the daily mail or walked through the grocery store, or Costco or wherever else you might have been, you were probably struck with all kinds of images, sights, scents and sounds that stirred up your emotional impulses.
I know mine were stirred today as I drove along seeing that “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” I briefly lingered over a song as I pressed buttons on the radio in the car, “I’ll be home for Christmas, you can count on me…” and I thought of times past when I heard that song and wept for those who wouldn’t be home that, or any other, Christmas. I saw trees being decorated, and strings of lights being hung on homes in a neighbourhood I was driving through. Instantly, I needed lights — in one moment I went from being content with no twinkle lights to needing them.
There’s an almost intoxicating aroma from the bags of heavily scented cinnamon pinecones that flank the doorway of our local store. I thought, Ooooo, I need those! Just up the street, carts were collecting all over the Costco parking lot — not a one by the entrance — but, Oooo, the scent of fresh pumpkin pies wafting out the doorway! A whole lot of shop, shop, shopping going on. Food, electronics, gifts and more gifts filling the unending streams of clanking carts — and though I was just there for some normal grocery shopping, I felt I needed to look around at all the stuff — compelled to see all the pretty lures. Do you do this, too? Do these feelings wash over you, too? It’s pretty important to keep a level head — to be content with such things as we have (or are able to purchase or not) and to be thankful regardless our circumstances. There is always something to be thankful for. Always.
Keep a settled heart, I remind myself.
2 thoughts on “Keep A Settled Heart”
Thank you, Keri—-I sure appreciate your thoughts (on this and whatever else you write 🙂 ). Yes! Keeping a settled heart means keeping the settled truth of the gospel settled in the forefront of all we do. Christ was born to die that we might live—-and so, in light of that, if/when/how Christmas is celebrated—-the reason must be remembered.
I get what you mean about the music / some of it really, really bugs me, too. Well, actually, a lot of it does! But a lot of it makes me a tearful, melancholy baby. Especially this time of year — I’m reminiscing and missing days gone by, missing people I love.
Thank you for this. These days, it’s hard to know what I even desire, so I’m apt to go *looking* “ahhhh….that’s the thing!!”. And, unlike you, when I hear Christmas music in the stores, it really bugs me…I feel manipulated to buy, buy, buy because who doesn’t want a “good Christmas”? This year I want even more to remind my family that the point of Christmas is Easter. How to bring that into better focus, I don’t know. But keeping my heart settled will be a good start 🙂