Distracted and harried, and relying on Christ

Sally Oakes's picture

OK, so it’s a new year. It seems I should write about resolutions or something, but nothing has come to me — besides, I’m as bad as anyone about breaking them. Then again, I could write about the expectation of what is to come in 2010, but really, no one can know what the year will bring; we just know that God will be there.

As I sit to write this, the phone keeps ringing off the hook and my younger girl, home on a school snow day, keeps bursting in on me in the computer room looking for gloves, scarves, and whatever else so she can go play in the snow. I finally snapped, “I’m working!” and I hypocriticially turned my attention to my service of God and writing an inspiring column that tells people to be kind and patient and loving. There are deadlines to meet and I’m still working on this Sunday’s sermon, “Called by Name,” where we’ll discover anew what Jesus’ baptism and renew our baptismal vows. Doesn’t she know that? (Oh, and I need a haircut; I look like a shaggy dog.)

Bethany UMC also sends around a one-minute or so devotion by phone called “The Friday Inspiration” every Friday and I don’t know what I want to do for that, either. (Gee, that meeting on Wednesday was stressful.)

Maybe I could condense a sermon for this week’s column; I’ve done that before. Last Sunday’s was about Epiphany and the wise men and how God reveals himself to us even in our darkest days. (Oh — my daughter needs a new coat, which is not to be found.)

I cancelled last night’s worship committee meeting because of the threat of “wintry mix” — a term that sends chills into even my Yankee spine and postponed it until next week. (There’s a full laundry hamper sitting in my bedroom awaiting washing and ... )

Whine, whine, whine. Listen to me! I’m the one who can see God’s beauty even in the saddest of circumstances. I’m the one who’s always going around saying, “God is good ... all the time!” I’m the one who tells people they’ll feel better if they “just do it.”

I’m also the one who tells people not to be too hard on themselves; we all have distracted days. Just get through it one at a time.

And I’m the one who lives on the promise of Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

So, maybe this column is, after all, about resolutions. This one is universal: let us rely on the strength and grace of our savior and it will fall in place. We can do all things through Christ. We’ll get through it one day at a time.

If you would like to get the one-minute Friday Inspiration, please do call our office at 770-964-6999 and be added to the list. No salesperson will call — I promise. The Friday Inspiration is usually delivered in the afternoons.

A blessed new year to all!

Sally Oakes is pastor of Bethany United Methodist Church, 607 Rivers Road, Fayetteville, GA 30214. Phone: 770-964-6999 or 770-964-6992, or e-mail bethanymnc@bellsouth.net.