I know. The last thing you think you need right now is another list of to-do’s. But this one has already lifted me out of a weary and bogged down (blogged down?) state probably better than will the Christmas party I’m looking forward to attending tomorrow. So I’ll share these mandates anyhow, and if you give them some thought and action, you might also find your Merry-merry Index rising.
This “Command List” jumped out at me first thing today from Psalm 105:1-5. To keep this post from getting too long, let’s focus on just the first two today and the rest in future posts. (However, if you want, you can hover your cursor over the reference within this paragraph and get a preview of all ten.)
Really Important Stuff to do Right Now for the Holidays
#1- Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
There’s that gratitude attitude resurfacing again, as primary. And note: not just gratitude, but gratitude expressed to the LORD God.
What wonderful personal benefit I already gained by 7 AM from doing that…
Yesterday I was dragging. Overloaded lately, I’d neglected my daily gratitude listing. But getting back to it this morning, wow! I got on such a roll, I had to call myself to a screeching halt at number eleven! Gratitude can snowball that way.
It also turned specific negative thinking upside down when my husband and I shared a moment over coffee and reconsidered a potential trigger for gloom and resentment as a possibility for greater celebration instead.
The men’s Bible study group my husband leads at a nearby prison won’t get their usual refreshments this year! Not allowed! A frowny face seems appropriate, but it did occur to us both that with food distractions removed the group might enjoy a greater celebration of Christ’s birth, and I am praying in that direction. The early church had no Christmas cookies and jingle bells, and some of them were locked in prisons, too, but sang for joy that surpassed today’s usual holiday mirth. The joy’s not in the trappings, but in the Lord, and the Lord is often more visible without the trappings!
So let’s give thanks to God throughout these days. Gratitude attitude again gets top priority, in Psalm 105.
#2- “Call upon His name.”
At this busy time we tend to brush this one off unless we run out of our own steam and get overwhelmed—and then what we call on is His emergency aid.
Calling upon His name goes beyond that. It’s more akin to what Francis Chan writes about in Forgotten God. It’s calling on His person to be fully present and actively involved within us, guiding, working, soothing, etc., as we walk according to His directing. It’s living the First Beatitude, not forgetting how desperately we need Him, how destitute we are within.
Recently I used a clock’s bonging of hours and half-hours to remind me of my desperate need for God’s Spirit to work within me all the time—good device to use again.
These fist two directives alone hold huge potential for true merriness. I intend to invest in them today, and hope you do, too, because already in the doing, I’ve risen way, way above where I was yesterday.
Whether it makes us mirthful or not, shouldn’t these “mini-commands” especially predominate our thoughts and words at this time of remembering Christ’s incarnation? Whether we’re happy or suffering, God deserves more of our thanks and our looking to Him for both our inward and outward supply than we could do in a lifetime.