Christmas Hangover

I’m praying for a really long “hangover” this Christmas. Let me explain:

The Collins English Dictionary defines a hangover as “the delayed aftereffects of drinking too much alcohol…” A “Christmas Hangover” is what I’m calling that time after the annual family gathering/gift exchange when you experience the “aftereffects” of Christmas. Some of the typical symptoms of the Christmas Hangover include sleeping children (worn out from playing with new toys), a crash-&-burn-feeling when the post-meal sugar high subsides, and the soothing sound of an empty house after everyone leaves.

All of this got me thinking though. Are these the kinds of “Hangovers” we should experience after Christmas? If our celebration is truly centered on the birth of Jesus, then our “aftereffects” might be a little different. I want to experience a much longer hangover – one which is motivated by the proper response to the incarnation – one that reflects the fact that Emmanuel “God with Us” is here! The incarnation should be incarnated in my life as well. I want to be changed by my Christmas interactions with Jesus. And I want those changes to last throughout the year – forever. I want a long “Christmas Hangover.”

Prayer:
Lord, let me be “hungover” with an overflow of the love you gave to us at Christmas. Let me be “intoxicated” by peace and “under the influence” of Your Spirit. May the “aftereffects” of your incarnation be incarnated in my life as well. AMEN.


PS – I don’t drink and never want to experience a “hangover” as it is normally defined.

Zero Negative Footprint

“You’re so negative!” Miranda’s words hung over me for a few days. It was just a couple of weeks ago. I had posted a few updates on twittter/facebook and after reading another one, Miranda responded. . . Loudly. . . Accusingly. And if I’m man enough to admit. . . Correctly. My wife has the ability to cut right through my facades and break me open. (and I’m exceedingly grateful for her.)

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about how my attitude affects my experiences. If it impacts my own experiences, what does it do to the rest of my family? My friends? The world around me?

I’ve heard of people making it their goal to have a “zero carbon footprint” in regards to their use of things that harm the environment.

What would the world look like if we all worked toward a “Zero Negative Footprint?” What if we were able to stop our negative interactions with people? How do negative attitudes harm our relational environment? What if everyone you came in contact with was encouraged or impacted in a positive way by your interaction?

Somehow, I think this is the way Jesus must have lived. Scripture is full of people who were impacted positively by Him. Even the Pharisees were given tough love (ultimately positive) by His discipline. To be a Christian is to seek to live as Jesus lived. Although He is the only person to ever walk the earth with a “Zero Negative Footprint,” He is our example, our guide.

“I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Being positive is tough. It’s counter-cultural. But it also changes people. It changes attitudes. It’s contagious! Murphy’s Law no longer applies to anything. God’s law is much bigger! It’s the difference between being a critic or an encourager.

Miranda’s words are still looming over me, “You’re so negative!” but I’m working on it. God is working on me. I’m grateful.

Little Shovel

ShovelOn his blog, Seth Godin writes “If you want to dig a big hole, you need to stay in one place.”

I wonder how this applies to evangelism? He explains that if you take your little shovel all over town, you’ll end up with a bunch of little holes – little impact. As a marketing guru, he applies this to sales: If you make 1000 sales calls, you’re likely to get 1000 rejections. On the other hand, if you work on one person and call him ten times, you might make a sale.

Back to evangelism: I think Jesus understood the “Law of the Little Shovel” pretty well. Think about it. He spent lots of time with the same 12 people (the disciples). He used his shovel digging into the lives of the same folks every day for three years of ministry. Those guys ended up changing the world and bringing Jesus’ message to the world as we know it – big impact.

I think it’s important to realize that when we truly invest our lives in people, (the same people year after year) we will dig much deeper in transforming both them and ultimately, the world around us. We should think in terms of changing a few people greatly rather than changing a great number of people in small ways.

Rube Goldberg Video

Someone has too much time on their hands. Oh well – It’s still kinda fun to watch.

I wonder how the little things I do impact the world around me?