Almost every year I spend December 26 apologizing to my family for not keeping my word about my schedule.
This all changed with a whisper on a Monday.
God said, “Why not tell your family the truth? Why not simply explain to them that December is the most intense month of the year for pastors and despite the flurry of activity in the first three weeks of the month you will all get sweet revenge the final week of the month.”
The second strategy I have for staying grounded in December is replenishment (aka: Sweet revenge!).
My children, who were young at the time, loved that term. Our family would scheme, plot and plan what we could do as a family that would make the chaos of the first 3 weeks fade.
For over 25 years, the Hybels family packs up to go somewhere on Christmas Day and we aren’t seen around Barrington until the first of January.
These “sweet revenge” travel days have been a lifesaver for our family.
We cook meals together, jog together and watch sunsets together. On Old Years Night, we all list the top 10 blessings from the previous year.
By the time the ball drops in Times Square we are all good with God, the church and each other. The deeper point in revealing all of this is that the idea came from a humble prayer for help from God on a Monday morning in early December decades ago.
Other years God has whispered other directions to me that gave me new ways to cope with the intensity of December pressures.
Nothing has been more valuable to me than the first Monday of December, alone with God, armed with a Bible, a journal and an earnest prayer to get this Christmas Season a bit more right than last year.
These lies are told every day all around our country, and people are believing them.