Faith notes

Snails, snails, snails. This summer I seem to have half Ceduna’s population of the little rascals living in my backyard.

White Mediterranean ones, brown European ones, small ones, big ones, and they all have one aim - eat all my vegetables and any other plant that they come across.

Normally there are a couple of lizards living in the back yard, keeping them under control.

However, this year both of them seem to be absent without leave and so the snail population is booming.

I can’t blame the lizards entirely though. This has been the most unusual year, hasn’t it?

Plenty of mild weather and lots of rain. Just the conditions that snails thrive in.

You’re probably thinking, “What’s all this got to do with God? After all the article has the title of ‘Faith Notes’.

I was expecting something spiritually uplifting”.

Well those snails are like the irritations in our everyday life.

You can never entirely get rid of them, as you’re well aware, there’s always something slightly irritating in life. But give them the right conditions and suddenly minor irritations can easily become major stress.

As 2017 is in its early days, now is a great time to look back over the last year and deal with those things that we’ve been trying to ignore or, like my snails, they will reproduce at an amazing rate causing intense stress.

Even better, the Bible advises us to develop a frame of mind that won’t permit those things to irritate us in the first place – get rid of the snails before they breed up: “I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”

Let’s get on top of our stresses as early as possible this year and thoroughly enjoy 2017.

Pastor Stuart McIlwraith, Oasis Christian Church