The 12 Days of Christmas: Surviving and thriving (Days 6-12: Punt)


Yep, that’s my wisdom for today.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the wisdom I’d planned to have. I had such good plans. I’d blocked out the first three days of last week. No clients. Plenty of time at the office to get caught up on other tasks. I’d promised myself I’d leave no later than 4 each day to get Christmas things done… like get a tree, do shopping, finish getting the house ready for my family who was staying with me. It was such a good plan.

Monday morning  I waltzed into the office, efficiency oozing out of my pores. I started writing the sermon I was scheduled to preach Sunday night. But then I started feeling not so good. I started getting chills. I knew what was coming.


That’s right, a rip-roaring, 102 degree fever case of the flu.  So much for my plan. I spent all week on my couch, working my way through the shows I’d recorded but had no time to watch. I discovered  I really liked The Chew. I spent a lot of time napping with my dogs.

None of which was on my list. Early in the week I contemplated my situation. None of the things I’d planned to do during the week were going to get done. It was time to punt.

In football, a coach decides to punt when there’s no real chance of gaining a first down. It’s not what they’d planned to do, but at least they could give themselves a chance to score the next time around. You’ll hear commentators talk about living to face another day.

I decided to punt. I might not get everything done that was on my list. I might not finish the touch-ups in my newly painted bathroom before my brother arrives. But the bathroom will be functional and we’ll all live. If I had to do gift cards for everyone, I could do that. I called the church to let them know that they’d better have a plan B in hand just in case I couldn’t make it.

I did wind up preaching. And after six hours of ninja shopping on Saturday, I finished my Christmas shopping. Hopefully today I’ll get a tree, and if that’s the only decorating I do, then so be it.

Because sometimes we can only do what we can do, not what we’d planned to do. Sometimes we just have to take stock of where things stand… and punt.

If all goes according to plan for you this Christmas, then blessings upon you. Enjoy it. And if it doesn’t, remember that sometimes there’s no shame in just punting. After all, you live to see another day.



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