My Rashionale: Tis the season to be stressed but hang tight to your joy

The week leading up to the end of Daylight-Saving Time always seems chaotic to me.

People are generally more hyped up — ask any teacher about the level of craziness in his or her classroom — and  traffic patterns even change. 

Drivers are more aggressive and out and about more than normal, at least so it seems.

While the hecticness makes me want to stay close to home,  I do love the excitement in the air at this time of year. 

The anticipation of seasonal activities as well as all the family and church traditions pumps up the adrenaline in many of us.

The fun kicks off with fall festivals, trunk or treats and trick-or-treating for the children — and maybe the opportunity for adults to be creative with their own costumes as well.

There’s also the World Series, the final high school football games and the start of state playoffs. 

College football games continue to capture our Saturdays but the coming national championship has sports commentators more heavily focused on the top five or six teams. 

The weather is typically cooling down by now (it definitely did this year — within a matter of hours last week).

And college students are nearing the end of the fall semester, while parents and grandparents find themselves preparing frantically for their own final exams for the year — Thanksgiving and Christmas.

A friend of mine mentioned a few days ago how he is looking forward to Thanksgiving. Describing it as his favorite holiday, he talked about special memories of his dad meticulously preparing the food.

My friend can still recall the smells and the impression all the food on the table as well as all the family being together made on him as a child. 

The relaxed feel of Thanksgiving Day and weekend also remain special to him because it’s a time where everyone is expected to slow down, rest and remember what all we are thankful for, he told me. 

As my friend shared his memories I realized how being thankful brings a sense of peace and contentment to our lives. 

The opportunity to slow down and reflect helps us remember to show gratitude all year long — even when the routine days are exhausting or when a season of life turns out to be especially difficult.

Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

James 1:2 says, “Count it all joy.” 

Finding joy amid hard times and pain isn’t easy but the Holy Spirit will guide us and God can do tremendous work in our lives in those moments if we can dig deep and find the joy.