The VOICE of Inspiration
By: Don Lindsey
With Thanksgiving behind us, and Christmas right around the corner, I like most dread shopping. Even though Black Friday is over, we all know that any superstore we walk into for the next month or so is going to be packed with determined people looking to shop for Christmas gifts. Today I ran into the same scenario while taking my father shopping. What I noticed is that the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping makes people grumpy. As I made this discovery, I was reminded of something that I saw on Facebook yesterday.
“Black Friday, the day when people will trample each other over things they want to buy, after spending the previous day being thankful for everything that they have.”
To me, that is a pretty profound statement and made me question my mindset when it comes to holiday shopping. If you know me, then you know I hate shopping, so holiday shopping is something I dread in a way that I can’t find the words to describe it. As I walked through the store today asking myself why I felt that way, I found that the answer was simple; it makes me grumpy to fight through a crowd just to get what I need to pick up. In other words, I feel the same way about shopping during this time of year that all of the other grumpy people I saw today.
That thought didn’t sit well with me. I have no reason to be grumpy. I’m in excellent health, I have a wonderful wife and family, so holiday shopping crowds should not make me upset to the point that it affects my overall mood. I seem to get so caught up in the frustrating moments I feel that I don’t notice all the things that God has given me. If you’ve read my columns before then, you know that this is not a new thought and is something that I struggle with a lot. What I’m learning is that instead of being grateful for what I have, I’m too busy worrying about things that I don’t have.
Every time that I ponder this inner struggle, I find that I try to lead my life entirely too much rather than letting God guide me. When God is leading, the pressure that I put on myself disappears. I decided to give that thought process a try today halfway through our shopping trip, and it worked. I found that I was more patient towards the same people I was frustrated with just moments earlier. Not only that but I found myself enjoying the process of considering gift ideas for my kids and family. I even ran into a friend of mine that I haven’t seen in a long time and enjoyed the conversation I had with him. Unfortunately, when it came time to check out, I fell right back into stressing over everything.
I carried that frustration and stress home with me after the shopping trip. As I sat down to write this column, I was still freaking out. I hadn’t had the time to research area organizations for this week’s article and had no idea what to write about. After panicking for a few minutes, I decided to let God lead as I did in the store and, it’s working. The conclusion I’ve arrived at is that somehow, I need to focus more on my blessings and less on my daily stresses. If I can find a way to stay thankful all year long, then the burdens that I place on myself will vanish. God has taught me that, so I think it’s past time for me to listen and let him navigate the struggles while I enjoy the positives. God bless, and I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor. Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.