It is okay to say no

Another holiday season has passed. Everyone we love wanted us to enjoy the spirit of the season with them, to celebrate and be glad. Joy and celebration may be the last thing from your mind right now. At the holiday, we often miss our precious ones even more. We have the right to say, “no, thank you. I won’t be there.” Or, “I may be late and leave early.”

This is one of the few places I have consistently done ok. My Mom was the pastor of the Plum Creek United Methodist Church for seventeen years. The church has an annual Christmas party. Somehow, instinctively, I knew that as pastor I would need to be present for most of the church’s activities throughout the year. I just could not make myself go to the Christmas party. I had transferred the overwhelming dread of Christmas activity to that Christmas party. I put all the loss on that one event. I don’t know whether this makes any sense, but it has worked for me. It was in the last year that I realized what I had done. It is ok to say no. In this new year, you may say, “No.”

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