December is a special month. Although it is the end of the calendar year, many are preparing for the holidays and festive events. Christians are celebrating the season of Advent right now, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both Christmas and the return of Jesus at the Second Coming.
Of course, there are other holidays in which we can prepare for delights. Hanukkah is coming up with eight days of celebration. The new year is just around the corner, and with it comes hopeful possibilities. Does that seem too far away? For those in the northern hemisphere, tomorrow is the winter solstice. For months we have been experiencing less daylight each day, but after tomorrow, the days will get longer and longer. It will be nice to have a little extra sunshine in our lives, and we can dream about the warmer days ahead.
I’ve previously written posts about preparing and readying ourselves for the future. Today’s fortune reminds us of the need for preparation. If we want to move forward in life, we must look in that direction. Unfortunately, with all of the holidays and events, we can easily get caught up in the hullabaloo. We rush to buy presents and create fancy foods. We jump into cars, plains, or trains and speed off to visit family and friends.
Yes, preparation is important, but I want you to indulge me for just a moment. Stop what you’re doing and look around. Take a deep breath and feel the air enter your lungs. Smell the scents of your surroundings. Listen to the traffic on the street, music nearby, or people chatting. Feel, for just a second, your existence in time and space. Focus on right here, right now, and nowhere else.
If this feels awkward, don’t worry. We tend to forget about the present time because it’s so fleeting. But we must focus on it now and then. There is no sense in planning for the future if we can’t enjoy the rewards of the current moment.
Now, as we prepare for the holidays and spend time with others, we should take a moment during those activities to enjoy the experience, be present with everyone we meet, and gracious for what we have. Gratitude is especially essential. Whenever we cherish the moments in our lives, we should also consider those that can’t. Many people are unable to celebrate the holidays to their fullest. They may not be able to afford the food or travel, or their jobs or current situations prevent them from being with ones they love.
It helps to pause and reflect on where we are, what we have, and who we’ve become. We don’t need to wait for a holiday. We can perform this task any day of the week. Much like a racer’s starting block, this self-contemplation can become a strong foundation for moving forward. Every single moment is a starting point, and each one can bring different results, especially when we consider how much we change as we get older.
As we prepare for the holiday season, remember to take time to acknowledge all the little moments in your life, the good, the bad, and even the mundane. A simple pause to appreciate the moment can make preparation more likely to bring success.