I feel that the holidays are a time to completely veg out and enjoy a Sabbath. Sabbath, for me, includes doing two things: First and foremost, setting aside some intentional time to hang with the Big Guy. Set aside some time every day to pray a little (idea: using the Lord's prayer as an outline, go walking with God in a park or around your neighborhood, and take each phrase and elaborate on it and pray it back to God by finding as many ways as you can to "hallow His Name", "ask for His Kingdom to come", "ask for His will to be done", etc.). Also, set aside some time every day to read some Scripture (idea: read one of the Gospels all the way through over the next two weeks... If you read Mark you will only have to read one chapter a day, the other Gospels will be two chapters a day... as you read, underline and circle everything that sticks out and ask God to show you what it means).
OK, so spending time with Jesus in prayer and Scripture reading is the first thing. What is the second, you may ask?
Do something that is mildly creative, somewhat addictive, and totally allows your brain to disconnect from the "real world" for a while. No, I am not advocating mind altering chemicals of any type. I am advocating something much stronger:
The absolute unmitigated brilliance that is CIVILIZATION IV ! ! ! ! !
Some people relax by putting together a 1000 piece puzzle, while others do crosswords, while others mind numbing spirit crushing TV shows. And then there's writing and reading books... something I do all of the time (have you read the blog????)
But none of this can compare to Sid Meier's Civilization franchise. In this game you rule a civilization and guide its social, political, cultural, economic, and military progress from 2000 BC until you win the game. And you basically win the game by defeating every other civilization on the planet or by colonizing another planet. But, honestly, the most fun way to end the game is by fiery nuclear holocaust (and this may be God's preference too... but that is a totally different discussion... see 2Pe 3:10-12; Rev 20:11).
Anyway, Civ I came out when I was in college. One time I spent a little over 24 hours straight playing before defeating the Babylonian Republic in nuclear war. I only ate 2 turkey sandwiches. I knew I was addicted. I deleted the game for years.
Then, when I was single after college, Civ II came out. I played on and off until I spent an entire weekend holed up in my efficiency apartment addicted to the game. I was addicted again. I deleted the game for years.
Then, the second year of my marriage, Civ III came out. I played it for three weeks on and off, until my wonderful wife got really upset that I was not coming to bed... at all. What did I do? I deleted the game for years.
Now, Civ IV is out. Bigger, better, and more addictive than ever. I am getting it for Christmas. I am prepared to spend at least a week of my life in addiction before the inevitable happens.
Want to be addicted to? Click here: http://www.2kgames.com/civ4/home.htm
If you have the game and want to network a Civilization competition, post a comment and I will respond.
Civilization IV: Become God of your own planet for the week (and you don't even have to convert to Mormonism)!