Oakley United Methodist Church
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Bringing Joy to God and Our Neighbors

Pastor's Page

"If Only"
          In Charles Dickens’ classic story "A Christmas Carol," Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past, who takes him back to a time when he was still a young man.  Scrooge sees himself proposing to the woman he loved, a woman who later breaks their engagement because she realizes that he has come to love money more than her. 
               As Scrooge watches the scene unfold, we can imagine how emotional this must be for him. We can imagine what is going through his mind – What a fool he had been!  How wonderfully different his life would be if only he had married her.       If only his heart had not been hardened by his love of money, perhaps that young Ebenezer would not have become an old, wretched miser.
          How would you like to be visited by the ghost of your past?  How would you like to go back and relive your sins, your mistakes, all the foolish choices that changed your life? How would you like to watch helplessly, knowing what the outcome is going to be, unable to do anything to change the result? 
          Imagine watching each scene unfold and feeling the sharp pain of regret. Just like Scrooge, you might think to yourself – What a fool I had been!  If only I hadn’t done that, if only I had chosen differently, if only I had taken the other path.  If only!
          For most of us, we don’t need a visit from a ghost of our past – because we do it to ourselves. We replay the past, over and over again in our minds. “If only I knew then what I know now,” we say to ourselves. But the past is exactly that – the past. We cannot change it and we have to live with the poor decisions and choices we made.
               If onlyIf only we could forgive ourselves as God does! If only we could all make one New Year’s resolution and stick to it! If only each of us could begin 2019 leaving our sins, mistakes, and foolish choices of 2018 behind – then we could begin this New Year in the joy of forgiveness!

          If you know the story, then you know that Ebenezer Scrooge was given a new chance at life. He was given the opportunity to change his ways and make his life better. Through forgiveness, God does the same for us, giving each of us a fresh start on life. So, do yourself a favor in the New Year – make a resolution to forgive yourself and ask God’s Holy Spirit to guide you on right paths, not only through the months ahead, but through the rest of your life!  

Blessings, Joy, Peace, and Love! Pastor Vic