Friday, December 18, 2015

CHILLAX, MAN — IT'S CHRISTMAS!

CHILLAX, MAN —
IT'S CHRISTMAS!
_________________________

Yep, it's that magical,
peaceful time of year
once again. A joyous
season when, for some
reason, many of us
become consumed
completely by stress
and anxietyBut listen,
just take a deep breath
— chill and relax. For
goodness sake, man 
IT'S CHRISTMAS!
_________________________

It was just the other morning — while schmoozing with the Salvation Army lady on the sidewalk in front of my local shopping complex, I witnessed an elderly couple nearly getting hit by a car in the crosswalk. Screech! Then, a short time later, I watched in horror as a seemingly impatient driver rushed into oncoming traffic. A close call, to say the least.

Yeah, we see it a lot this time of year — distracted drivers, stressed-out shoppers, overwhelmed cashiers — anxiety-filled people on a mission to "celebrate" the holidays. 

Heck, I've even been guilty of "losing it" this season. When my sister came down from Tennessee this past week to visit me here in Florida, I was so "out of sorts" regarding holiday shopping, holiday bills and getting from "Point A" to "Point B" in a timely fashion, I'm sure I put a significant "damper" on her beachfront experience. What a jerk! I did, however, apologize to her for my "less than pleasant" behavior. And being the genuinely kind-hearted person that she is, she understood, and forgave me — just like she always does, whenever I have one of my infamous "episodes."

So, I encourage everyone to simply relax this season — it's gonna be alright, I promise. Back off the pedal for half a second and let the guy merge into your lane. I realize that we're all in hurry, but causing an accident, regardless of who's "right," really is going to delay your mission. And when oblivious "Busy Betty" cuts in front of you in line at Starbucks this season, just let it go. In fact, give ol' "Betty" a hug and pay for her coffee. Now, that's the true Christmas spirit!

Love, kindness, compassion, patience, forgiveness — it's how Jesus rolled. To be showing each other anything less, especially this time year, I'm sure bums Him out. After all, it IS His birthday that we're celebrating, ya know. And NOBODY likes getting bummed-out on their birthday. Just sayin'.

-Christopher Long
(December 2015)

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