In our hurry to get things done
we can get them so badly wrong
that they will never be undone
without the help of the Holy One!
Not the best of rhyming, but forgive me, please, because it was inspired by an experience of frustration and despair when I thought I had got something done but it was quickly undone when I did something wrong!
I had been looking forward to a relaxing evening and perhaps watching Death in Paradise. I had the introduction to my letter in the draft folder on the computer. I thought it was a good message and was happy that it was all done earlier than usual. Before putting my feet up with a glass of wine I decided to add a prayer list to the letter and when I pressed a key something terrible happened — it was deleted. A moment of panic before I thought of looking in the box of deleted items. Phew! Thank you, Lord. I pressed a key and it disappeared. This time it had gone from the deleted box to somewhere beyond recovery.
Our guest speaker tonight is Delroy Brown whose theme is “Be careful what you wish for” and although I am not one for wishing, but rather praying, I know that as I type these words now I had hoped to be sitting back with that glass of wine. Virginia tried to comfort me by saying that I wasn’t meant to say what I had said, but if I had been more careful and not been in such a hurry to press the keys on the keyboard I wouldn’t have got it so badly wrong. What made it worse was that I could not remember a phrase that I had written the letter around which made me feel even worse. How can I forget something I had only written a few hours before?
As I confess to getting things so badly wrong and having a terrible memory I was reminded of the telephone conversation I had with someone in the afternoon. They said they didn’t like Zoom because they felt so inferior as people shared their experiences and talked about scripture. Well, even those of us who do the talking can’t remember everything and we can get things badly wrong, as proven by my disappearing letter. We can’t all be the Martha’s cooking up a recipe of daily bread in the kitchen of the world and maybe you are meant to be like Mary who listens and learns and isn’t in such a hurry to get things done. Listen to the Word before leaping into action believing faith is all you need.
I still can’t remember the saying I used in my original letter, but it was something to do with wanting to take great leaps of faith so we can get things done, but as we do we can get some things so badly wrong. Whether it be wishing, or praying, or hoping or dreaming, it is something we want — even more than my glass of wine — but leaping into action to get things done can go badly wrong if it’s in our faith. Jesus warns us not to put God to the test by leaping into the unknown, but he doesn’t say that God won’t catch us when we do. “Save me, Lord, I can’t swim,” I can shout after jumping from a great height into a lake and I can imagine God shaking his head and sighing:”When will you learn not to test me, but to trust in my Word?”
If we want to take a leap of faith “be careful to follow all the commands of the Lord your God….” (1 Chronicles: 28: 8) So Jesus says don’t leap before you look, or listen or learn from the words that come from the mouth of God. We’ve all done it though, haven’t we, and been picked up by a parent who kisses us better and tells us to remember the lessons when we get things wrong. God, I think, will do the same and hopes we will be more careful in what we wish for, or do, in the future. We are still in a hurry to get things done so will get them so badly wrong that they will never be undone without the help of the Holy One!
You might have noticed I have wandered into the wilderness with Jesus where some people make the mistake of “asking for the whole world!” Be careful what you ask for because you’ve got it, but you didn’t expect to have all the problems that come with it and you can only save it with the help of Jesus. God gave it to us in the beginning, so we don’t need to ask for it, but we were in such a hurry to get things done, we got it all so badly wrong that it can never be undone without the help of the Holy One.
Be careful what you wish for — or pray for — and when you ask make sure you listen first to every word from the mouth of God before you leap into action. Some things we don’t need to ask for because everything God has is ours and we can heal it, mend it and save it if we walk with Jesus.
God bless, Richard