January 2, 2018

3 Ways to Overcome the Post-Holiday Blues

I’ve always been intrigued to read these words in the Christmas story. “The shepherds went back to their flocks…” (Luke 2:20). It’s safe to say that as long as they lived, the shepherds would never have an experience like they did the night Jesus was born. They returned to their flocks. Back to the ordinary.

It’s not uncommon to feel a letdown after the holidays. Back to work. Back to school. Short days. More gray skies than blue skies. Two more months of winter (depending on what the groundhog says). 

We love the high points in life. Holidays. Vacations. Marriage. The birth of our children. Social media posts often are simply a “highlight reel” of someone else’s life. So we begin to think, “Am I missing something?” 

But life is really defined by the ordinary. It’s in those moments that our true character comes out. 

Most of life is ordinary. Most of our time is spent on the ordinary. Decisions we make in the ordinary often define us. So how do you live in the ordinary? Especially if you are feeling the post-holiday blues? Here are 3 ways. 

1.    Spend time daily with God. 

Make it a priority. If you don’t make the time to spend with God, it’s unlikely that God can speak into your ordinary moments to encourage and teach you. The Ridge Reading Challenge is the place to start! Join other Ridgers as we read through the New Testament this year. (Sign up at the Connections Desk or at theridge.org.) You will put yourself in a position to hear from God as you read a chapter from the Bible. 

2.    Be faithful a day at a time.

I enjoy competing in triathlons and marathons. Sure, crossing the finish line is exciting and the high point, but I spend the majority of my time swimming another stroke, grinding out the miles on the bike, or putting one foot in front of the other on the run when my body says to quit. Success is not determined at the finish line, but with what happens when no one is cheering. I often say to myself, “Jerry, you don’t have to make it to the finish line, just to the next mile.”

The same is true in life. Make the decision to be faithful to God today. Then, when tomorrow comes, make that decision again.

3.    Surround yourself with others who will encourage you.

Don’t you think that for the rest of their lives, as they sat around watching the sheep, the shepherds talked about the night the angels appeared in the sky? It reminded them that God entered our ordinary world to give us peace, hope, and promise!

We need each other. We need reminders that God is at work in the ordinary. We need reminders of the peace, hope, and promise that we have. That’s why we have Life groups at The Ridge. If you’re not in one now, you will have the opportunity in January to join one. Watch for the announcements. 

Whatever it takes,