Shops are bustling, airlines are booking, and school is letting out for the most wonderful time of the year. This close to Christmas, it seems everyone has their schedules packed, and evenings planned. Everyone also seems to be on edge because if one thing goes wrong, it causes an entire domino effect of ruined plans.
Recently, there was quite a fiasco that took place in the Cook household. The most crucial staple of the Christmas season was failing to cooperate. That’s right, the Christmas tree refused to stay standing. As my parents and I tried every which way to get the tree to stand, it proved incredibly stubborn and kept tipping this way and that. Eventually, we did get it standing, but it was quite the task. At the end of all the mayhem, though we were exhausted, we somehow also had the capacity to laugh about the incident. I remember my mom saying, “When stuff like this happens, you have to keep it light; families break up over this kind of stuff”.
While home on break, I led devotions for the high school freshmen from the high school I graduated from. Their homeroom teacher asked me, looking back, what advice I would give to people this age. After thinking about it, I told him I wish I would have cared a little less. Not about grades or school, but about the more trifle things. High school could have had the potential to be a lot more fun if I hadn’t spend so much time worrying about impressing people, wearing the right clothes, and acting the right way.
One of the best things about college is figuring stuff out. When I was a freshman in high school, I worried about anything and everything because I was so unsure of what was important. In moving away from home, choosing new friends, and becoming involved in diverse communities, I’ve learned a lot about what in life is important. It’s not about being friends with the popular crowd; it’s about fostering mature, Christ-like relationships. It’s not about wearing the coolest clothes; it’s about expressing your tastes as an individual.
During this Christmas season, among all the plans and mayhem, I encourage you to focus on the important things. And, for those of you who are college students, relax. Take advantage of this time to figure out who you are and what you’re all about.
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” -Matthew 6:31-33