Ready Your Mind
By Jolee Paden
"Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming."
- 1 Peter 1:13
In the days and even weeks leading up to a big competition, your coach tells you to prepare your mind. You have put in the training throughout the season and your body is ready to compete. Your mind must be ready to step into the fullness of competition. The anticipation of competition stirs our hearts toward excitement, anxiety and by the time of competition... we are often ready for it to be over.
Christmas brings many of these "pre-competition" emotions. We spend weeks preparing for the gatherings full of food, family, friends and gift-giving. With the traveling and anxiety awaiting, we are ready for it to all pass by the time it gets here. If we are complacent, the celebration will pass without an acknowledgement of the season's true gift -- a recognition, reminder and celebration of Christ Jesus coming to earth.
Jesus Christ is the only human that was born knowing that he would die. He was born into the harshness of this world to save us from it. Knowing that he would die, he still came. The Christmas holiday gives us a reason to gather and celebrate the many gifts we have among one another, but the real prize is the victory of Jesus Christ. His death on the cross and resurrection. It would be a shame to grit our teeth and get through the holiday without confronting the reason for the season.
If you go into competition with the mentality of "survival," you won't enjoy it. Competition is an opportunity to worship as you offer your body as a living sacrifice. Your gifts and talents are an offering to the One who created you. Do not dread the gift of competition, but rather prepare your heart and mind for the time you have to honor your King.
Don't grit your teeth through this holiday. See it as an opportunity to offer your heart on the altar as you thrive in the gift of abundant life. When we make it about ourselves, we bring ourselves down. When we make it about Jesus, we are free to live in joy and hope.
- What anxieties are stirring as Christmas approaches?
- What gifts of grace do you need to meditate on as you fix your eyes on Jesus? He is faithful to take your burdens.
- How will you choose to thrive rather than just survive this holiday?
1 Peter 5:6-11; Romans 12:1-2; James 1:17
Lord, thank you for the gift of Christmas. I pray that you would open up opportunities for me to share my heart with others during this season. You are the reason for it all! Forgive me for making it about myself. Help me to fix my eyes on you as my Victor, Savior, King and Truth. I believe that in your strength, I don't have to just survive this year. Help me to thrive through the power of your Holy Spirit.