Pastor’s Friday Comments (07.24.20)

If you’re not feeling at least a little bit overwhelmed right now, you probably aren’t paying attention:

*A health care crisis that shows no sign of lessening (at least in the reality-challenged State of Georgia)

*Political leaders willing to risk the health of citizens to turn pandemic mitigation into a partisan issue

*Self-centered individuals more concerned with their “rights” than the welfare of the community

*Deep divisions along racial and economic lines and (again) political leaders willing to exploit the divisions for their own ends

*Record unemployment and economic uncertainty made worse by a divided Congress that is having difficulty coming to a compromise about how best to help

*Teachers and parents having to figure out not only what is best for students in the new school year, but how in the world to pull it off

*Health care workers who not only have to battle this virus, but who also must surely have to battle the discouragement of seeing people unwilling to take the most rudimentary of precautions to lessen the crisis

As I said, if you’re not feeling overwhelmed, you’re not paying attention.

As Christians, we know that nothing is beyond God’s power to change if people are willing to be led by God’s Spirit, and that is certainly the way we need to pray. And as residents of the community, we can voice our opinions and desires – provided we do so respectfully.

But that doesn’t keep us from feeling overwhelmed, does it? So maybe it’s time to take a step back, to cut off the 24-hour news feed, get off Facebook for a while, quit spending hours on the phone with friends in those “ain’t it awful?” conversations. Perhaps it’s time for a simple prayer: God, help me to control what I can control.

You can’t stop politicians from trying to take advantage of a crisis, but you can make sure you are acting out of interest for the community and not just yourself.

You can’t stop others from being dismissive of the concerns of store clerks and service people by refusing to wear a mask, but you can be sure you always wear one when you’re around others.

You can’t make this crisis go away but you can reach out to people in isolation and help them to feel less lonely.

You can’t help it if, for the time being, you have to live in close quarters with your family with no break, but you can be as pleasant as possible for the duration.

You can’t get back to church as you would want, but you can keep your own relationship with God strong by carving out time from each day for meditation, Bible study, and prayer. And you can avail yourself of the worship material each weekend to maintain spiritual discipline.

You can’t do whatever you want, but there are still plenty of things you can do to enjoy life and you might even find you have time for some new things to bring you pleasure.

You can’t go wherever you want, but you can still take walks and enjoy this beautiful world.

You can’t avoid some inconveniences, but you can decide not to whine about it.

You can add a lot to the list of things you can control, especially if you ask God to reveal them to you. It all boils down to this prayer: Lord, help me to control what I can control. And help me to let go of everything else.