The holidays are over

By Jimmy Cochran


Christmas and New Years are over. The lights are turned off, decorations packed up and heading back to the attic. We’re sick of turkey and dressing and casseroles. The kid’s gifts have begun to lose a little of their appeal and newness. The stores and traffic are slowly returning to normal. Kroger and Publix have their Valentine’s Day candy and cards out. It’s almost as if Christmas never occurred. It’s over. Except that somewhere deep inside you feel like something just isn’t quite right. You might find yourself a bit snarkish with the family and friends when you don’t mean to be. It’s hard to sit and watch a television program, or read a book, without feeling like there is something you must be doing. You find yourself hungry a lot of the time, but nothing seems to be what you want. Yep, Christmas is over, but the hurriedness and busyness is still with us.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

And … just as soon as the holidays are over we begin to realize how much weight we’ve gained, debt we have incurred, sleep we lost, how little time we spent with our family and friends AND how much time we spent at office parties, church events, neighborhood gatherings … and we realize that something has to be done. Immediately. So, we launch into the whole New Year resolution mode to lose the weight and get into shape, pay off our credit cards and save money, catch up on our sleep and the family time we have lost.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

I have attempted the above resolutions more times than I can remember. And many others that would also fall by the wayside before the first week in February. I have a violent opposition to exercise. I have an inborn inability to save money. I do have an addiction to sleeping, so that’s one resolution I have no problem in keeping. But, from what I hear, most people make resolutions that seem to be a problem to keep over time.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

That’s why this year I’m going about it differently and I would like you to think about doing the same. I want my life to be simpler. Less hectic and cluttered and frantic. More peaceful and, well, happy. One thing I am going to do (and have already started) is to turn my television off its normal 24/7 mode and listen more to music. I’m going to read more and shop less. I am going to, at least, walk around my neighborhood a few times a week. And, focus on doing more for others. I’m not going to feel in such an all-fired hurry to get somewhere and do something. In other words, I’m going to slow down my driving … and in turn, my life. Just as I’m not going to put a lot of junk into my mind, I’m not going to put a lot of junk (food) into my body. This is the only body I’ve got and I want to keep it going for many more years. I’m not going to let other people try to change me from who I am. They just don’t know.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

Mostly, I need to create within me a calm spirit and know that God is present in my life. To those who believe, there is nothing to equal the stillness and calmness that can flood your spirit as when you finally relax and let God flow in. Like a river of peace. I tend to forget that many times and that is when things spin out of control. And my number one resolution this year is to “be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10). All the time.

As you come down from the stresses of Christmas, don’t forget the reason we celebrate the Day, but resolve to incorporate it into your daily life. And, be still.

And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.

Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, a musician, a minister and the author of Being God’s and Staying God’s, both available at Being God’s is also available at Moye’s Pharmacy in McDonough.