Jesus led an unhurried life, says author and pastor Alan Fadling, who makes the case in his book, An Unhurried Life - Following Jesus' Rhythms of Work and Rest, by pointing to Scripture, other Christian leaders with the same belief, and his own experiences. In an effort to encourage others to combat the all too frequent surge in stress during the Christmas season, the Southern California certified spiritual director has a Top 10 list of ways to have an unhurried Christmas season.
"After waiting thirty years to begin his ministry, his first ministry act was to follow the Spirit into forty days in the wilderness," writes Fadling in the opening chapter of his book. "His own brothers urged him to do some publicity if he wanted to be a public figure, but Jesus didn't bite (John 7:4-6). He seemed frustratingly unhurried on his way to heal the synagogue official's daughter (Mark 5:22-43) and to visit his sick friend Lazarus, who died during Jesus' two-day delay (John 11:1-43). His sense of timing often puzzled those around him."
In introducing his "Top 10 Ways to Have an Unhurried Christmas Season" to The Christian Post, he states, "These suggestions are not meant as more items for your already too long holiday to do list. These are ways to approach these upcoming weeks from a different spirit – with a more unhurried, relaxed, and peaceful heart."
Top 10 Ways to Have an Unhurried Christmas Season
1. Enjoy a few sips of your morning coffee or tea for five minutes without doing anything other than enjoying the moment.
2. Take an evening walk in your neighborhood and enjoy the decorations that may be up. Make it a stroll. Feel the crisp air on your face. Engage all of your senses.
3. As you are preparing to buy a gift for someone, slow down enough to ask yourself, "What would they enjoy? What would bless them, encourage them, enrich them, help them?" See if you can resist the temptation to make gift purchasing an exercise in efficiency, but rather an offering of love.
4. Slow down enough to look a salesperson in the eye and thank them for their help. Bless them in the midst of what is a likely a very frantic season for them.
5. Give yourself the gift of one morning to wake up without an alarm clock going off.
6. Take a moment at the end of a day to think back over it. What are you grateful for? Say thanks. What was hard? Ask for help. What do you wish you did differently? Ask for forgiveness.
7. Take the opportunity to spend a little time with someone whose needs are greater than yours. The needs might be financial, emotional, physical, etc.
8. At a Christmas party or holiday gathering, be more present to others by listening well to what they are sharing. Ask questions that express interest and care.
9. Take a moment to read the story about the birth of Jesus (Lk 2:1-21).
10. The prophet Isaiah described Jesus as a child who would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Which of these names hits closest to home for you? Carry it with you through this holiday season.
On the Web: http://anunhurriedlife.org/.