For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Eccl. 3:1 ESV.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. IS 9:6 ESV.
Have you ever wondered why the negative and traumatic things we experience seem to stick with us the most? Think of your earliest memory. For me it’s breaking my elbow at age 4 when I fell off my toy tractor; it’s forever seared in my brain. Recently I heard about a scientific study that suggests our brains are hardwired to be 5 times more likely to remember negative things than positive ones. The study also suggests that if we will savor positive experiences for at least 20 seconds, we become much more likely to remember them long term.
As we move through the holiday season it’s easy for us to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and focus on the negative, while there is so much we have to be thankful for. I firmly believe the Lord wants us to slow down and savor the blessings that the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year holidays represent. If we don’t intentionally do this, we can so easily get swept into the cultural tide of commercialism and greed that flows like a swift undercurrent this time of year. This past week I spent a five-hour block in solitude in nature for a class project. I found that it took me the first hour or two to just slow my mind down and detox from the busyness of life, before I could really hear from God. As my mind became uncluttered from distraction, I was finally able so sit and savor and just soak up God’s goodness. My attitude changed from one of discouragement to thankfulness and joy as I read God’s word and ruminated on His many blessings. May you too find some time this holiday season to get alone with God and simply savor his blessings.
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