Well, how did your Thanksgiving go? Other than eating a tad too much pumpkin pie, did you experience any other problems? Like family relations being stirred up? Some families only get together at holidays. Bound together by blood but not by preference, taste, political views, or spiritual perspectives – big family dinners can be extremely stressful.
The thing is that family members really know how to push each others buttons, don’t they? Everyone starts out on good behavior. Hearty hellos, catching up, what’s new with you, so glad to hear about your new house, new promotion, new car. Eventually through the long hours of eating, cleaning up, movies, football etc. nerves wear thin and the button pushing begins.
Not every family operates this way but if yours does you must wonder if there is a way to push the peace and joy buttons instead. I’m reminded of the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10. Martha was serving a big dinner with Jesus in attendance and she complained to him that Mary wasn’t helping her at all. She wanted Jesus to rebuke her for it.
Instead, Jesus commended Mary for choosing the best seat in the house, at his feet hanging on to every word he said. He was saying to set priorities straight and then let the rest take care of itself after that. This can be applied to our big family holiday gatherings. Before they commence, take time to sit at the feet of Jesus. Spend some one on one with him until you feel his presence and his joy and peace settle down deep inside yourself.
Even if the button pushing begins, you can smile inside knowing you have chosen the better part. With Christmas just around the corner, grab your seat at the feet of Jesus now.