News from the Tennessee Valley Religion

Rev. Terry Greer

2007 resolution is to slow down

The New Year, 2007, is upon us. I pray that you are anticipating a great New Year. The gift of anticipation brings with it the gift of hope. Hand in hand, anticipation and hope create within us a spirit of excitement and joy.

One of the New Year's resolutions I have promised is to try to slow down some. I am a fast-paced, busy person, always in a hurry. I rush from here to there. However, I do notice that in "non-essentials" I spend as little time as possible.

In "essentials," I spend as much time as is necessary or needed. I love to visit and talk with people, especially senior adults. You can learn so much from them.

Yet, I often find my schedule overtaken by committee meetings, church staff responsibilities, helping plan new buildings, education and professional development events, church budget preparations, teaching and preaching study, hospital and nursing facility visits and, of course, pastoral counseling.

Most important role

This list does not mention my most important role, that of being a good husband and father. I only wish this were a complete list.

Years ago, I heard an analogy that I have given attention to recently. In our entry foyer at home we have a grandfather clock. When I sit nearby in the living room, I hear its constant slow and deliberate, ponderous strokes ticking.

As the very long pendulum swings back and forth, the clock seems to be saying, "There-is-plenty-of-time. There-is-plenty-of-time. There-is-plenty-of-time."

In our family den, there is a newer, more modern clock. It too has a pendulum, a much shorter one than our grandfather clock. The newer clock has a swifter stroke, and it seems say, "Time to get busy! Time to get busy! Time to get busy!" I really need to ignore its imaginary message more often.

Fast-paced schedule

Throughout the Christian season of Advent, I have kept a fast-paced schedule. I have attended more social and civic events than I can quickly count. I was blessed by seeing many of the shut-in members of our church as I served them Christmas communion. Our Christmas Eve worship services brought out hundreds of people to hear the eternal message of the Babe born in a stable and laid in a Bethlehem manger, I loved seeing each and every one. Yet, at midnight Christmas Eve, I was totally exhausted.

As you read, are you relating to any of this . . . busyness?

Synchronize with God

For 2007, I have decided that the solution to all of this is to get into the same time synchronization as Almighty God. I sincerely believe that contact with God on a daily basis establishes within us a flow of the same type of energy that re-creates the world and renews springtime every year.

Divine energy comes through quiet time with God. Divine energy comes through a regular time of conversation with God through prayer. Through Bible reading, God speaks to us.

Over these years of my pastoral ministry, I have learned that a peaceful mind generates power and energy. Let us all remember that it was Jesus, the Prince of Peace, who said, "I have come that they might have life and that they might have it abundantly." Slow down and enjoy the abundant life that Jesus offers.

Happy New Year!

The Rev. Dr. Terry Greer, senior pastor of Decatur First United Methodist Church, is a guest columnist for The Daily. For more information, call Melanie Smith at 340-2468.

Rev. Terry Greer Rev. Terry Greer

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