Pastor’s Corner, Jan. 28, 2022

Today’s message is from Pastor Pam Sutherland of the St. Paul United Methodist Church & Fort Gibson United Methodist Church

WHEN I LEFT HOME in 1976 at the ripe old age of 18 and made my way to Wyoming to begin my life as an adult, I can only imagine what my mom was thinking and feeling as I drove away with no cell phone to call and check-in on me. The next time she expected to hear from me would be when I arrived safely at my destination, if I remembered to call. She lived by the motto, “No news is good news,” so I suppose it kept her from worrying too much. But I’m sure she wished I’d kept in touch more often.

What goes around, comes around, as they say. When my son took off for Montana to pursue his dream of being an elk hunting guide, he did not have a cell phone. So I bought him some prepaid phone cards he could use at pay phones along the way to let me know he was okay. I anxiously awaited those calls and was especially anxious for the call that let me know he’d arrived safely. But like his mother, he didn’t remember to call. 

When my girls were away at college they preferred texting as a means of communication because apparently when your mom calls in the middle of class, the professor kicks you out! With classes, work schedules, studying, and time with friends, I never knew when it was a good time to call and I wasn’t very good at texting, so for the most part I just waited to hear from them.

I’ve had to adopt my mother’s motto, “No news is good news” over the years as all 3 of my children have scattered to various states at different times – California, Texas, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, and Tennessee. They are all very independent with busy schedules and active lives so texting is the way we communicate for the most part. If it’s been awhile since I’ve heard from any one of them, I will send a “check-in” text and anxiously await a reply. I am grateful for the technology that allows us to stay in touch when we are so far apart. I don’t know how my mother endured weeks of “no news” when my siblings and I were spread out in various places. Perhaps she worried more than I knew.

Although God always knows where we are and what we are doing and doesn’t send out text messages hoping we will respond, Scripture repeatedly tells us God is as thrilled to hear from us as we are to hear from our children and others whom we love. God created human beings to be in relationship with Him and longs for us to talk to Him and spend time with Him, just as we long for that connection with those we love.

Someone once asked, “If someone you love and who loves you, was in the room with you right now would you ignore them and not speak at all? Or would you acknowledge their presence, make conversation, tell them about your day, ask questions, share your hopes and dreams, listen to what they have to say?” God is always in the room with us and He wants to have a conversation. That’s what the Apostle Paul meant in in 1st Thessalonians 5:17 when he said “pray without ceasing”. Just have a conversation. He is right there waiting for you to check-in.

Today I am thankful that God encourages us to check in with Him often. I’m thankful that He wants to hear from me anytime and anywhere, about anything on my mind. He wants to hear from you too, so why not check-in right now?

Pastor Pam

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