How to find time for God in the midst of Advent chaos?

Are you feeling it yet? The rat-race turmoil leaning towards a muddled mess?

A dance of light rays

It must be Advent. (Or it could be in the midst of the chaos of any season.)

How can we find time for peace?
How can we find time for God?

Pastor Nancy Lynn at FUMC in Ann Arbor, MI had some ideas in a recent sermon.

Let’s review Nancy’s ideas. (And is it okay if I build on them?)

    Split rocks in the woods

  • Go out and notice something in nature.
    (Even if it’s just a bunch of rocks.) Set a recurring timer (to go off when it will be okay to be interrupted). When it rings, go for a daily walk. Find a truly beautiful nature-made article. Allow yourself to fill with awe. Yes! God made this!
  • Take time for prayer.
    (Be like Jesus?) How about a different way of praying? Breath prayer: This sort of prayer brings yourself to a quiet rest. Start by relaxing—take a couple of deep breaths. Then, focusing on your breath, silently recite a word (or words) over and over.

    Try the Aramaic word (Jesus spoke Aramaic) that means “Come Lord” – Maranatha. Break it into four syllables:
    Breath In: Ma
    Breath Out: Ra
    Breath In: Na
    Breath Out: Tha
    When your mind drifts, bring yourself gently back.

  • Change your prevailing viewpoint. Give yourself compassion and change your self-talk!
    Practice grace and forgiveness… towards yourself! Rather than piling up accusations against yourself (I should have… I am such an idiot… Why didn’t I… ) Try loading your brain with positive, helpful thoughts. Phrases like:
    • Sometimes I make mistakes. I can learn from them.
    • Most decisions in life involve tradeoffs.
    • I chose not to buy the most expensive gift.

    This change can take some brain-training. Keep at it!

  • “Rack - Random Acts of Christmas KindnessMake a point to be spontaneously kind. Print a calendar page for December. Each day write something you’ve done to be helpful.

    Want a different idea to promote a randomly caring attitude? Try “RACK” (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness).

  • May one of these activities help you to find peace (and God with you) in this busy season!


    Photo credits…
    Chaos by kevin dooley, licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0). Rest of photos from my archives. (I made the RACK’ed figure.)