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I Am Resigning

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted December 4, 2013

RELIGION – I have always worked in food. My only other marketable job skill besides preaching is waiting tables. One of my first jobs was a “Grill Boy” at a country club. I never liked being called Grill Boy. From time to time in my hometown someone will refer to me as that, so I turn and tell them “now it is Rev. Grill Boy to you!”

Anyways, I had a really cool manager one time. He was a young guy and we would swap tapes and a handful of CDs back and forth.
Well, it turned out that he might have not been a very good manager. At the time I had no idea about food costs, I just knew the guy and I both like listening to Dave Matthews Band. So when I got news that he had been fired I marched into the General Manager’s office and I said if they were firing my buddy (who I had only known three months) that I was going to resign. Well, I guess I thought that maybe the thought of losing me would bring the entire country club to a halt and cause the membership to revolt and reinstate myself and the food manger to our positions. Let me just say that that did not happened. I lost my job and I had to find another. My resignation did not really accomplish that much.

But there is a resignation that I want us all to consider at Christmas. The prophet Isaiah, in 9:6 declares that “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace"
I have always sort of skipped over the phrase, “And the government will be on his shoulders." After doing some studying I found out that in the Hebrew it means something like this: "The weight of the world will be on his shoulders." Now this is a big deal to us at Christmas. For many during this season the weight of a huge schedule is bearing down on you. For others it is the ever increasing crushing mountain of debt that you are feeling. For some, it is the sense of loss that for the first time you will be celebrating without someone that you love.  Now if we have been promised that Jesus will shoulder all of our burdens, this should change the way that we live!

I read this week about a guy named George McCauslin, who some years ago served as director of a YMCA in western Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. It was a difficult situation because the YMCA was losing money, membership and staff. McCauslin worked 85 hours a week trying to solve the problem. He found himself getting little sleep at night. He took little time off. And even when he was away from the job, he was worrying and fretting about the problems of the YMCA. He visited a therapist who warned him he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Somehow he needed to let go and let God take charge of his problems. But how do you do something like that?

The breakthrough came one day when he took a notebook and ventured into a forest not far from where he lived. As he walked through the cool woods, he could feel his muscles starting to relax. Sitting down under a tree, he sighed and felt at ease for the first time in months. He took out his notebook and decided to let go of the burdens of his life. He wrote God a letter that simply said, "Dear God, Today I hereby resign as general manager of the universe. Love, George." Looking back on that moment, he reflected with a twinkle in his eye, "And wonder of wonders, God accepted my resignation." (R. Pritchard, Come With Me To Bethlehem.)

It would do us well to follow in what Ole’ George did. We need to resign as general manager of the universe. Think about it: are you worn out from trying to solve every problem, help your children, do everything at church, get to 10 Christmas parties, and in general fix your friends and the government? Yep, you are tired. I know because I do it some myself. We are not fit and capable to manage the universe.  No wonder we're tired all the time.

This is where Christmas come in. When we look at Jesus in the manger, we see a Savior who came to set us free from the awful self-imposed responsibility of trying to run the world. It is Jesus who calls us to “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  (29)  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”Mat 11:28-30 Peter further reminds us to “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, (7) casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1Peter 5:6-7 

So this is my resignation from running the world! I hope you write yours as well!

Pastor Phillip 

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