This pandemic holiday season offers us an opportunity to be upset or at peace. It all depends on what we think. The Bible tells us this, and it is the essence of Christian mindfulness.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.Philippians 4: 4-8, NIV
Advent and Christmas in a pandemic give us plenty of opportunity to think anxious thoughts … as well as thoughts that are angry or sad. The Lord warns us against this. He has given us the incredible opportunity to abide in him. Our thoughts help to take us there.
As Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl wrote in “Man’s Search for Meaning,” we can choose what we think about and what our attitude is, even in the worst suffering.
This choice is not automatic. If we find ourselves down in darkness, worrying about illness, the broken world, politics and so on, we can turn our attention to the Lord’s presence.
We can do that by rejoicing in his goodness. Lifting up our worries in a prayer with thanksgiving. And moving our attention to something that is true, lovely and admirable. More tips about doing this are here. Do your part, and God will do the rest.