I had a worrying moment yesterday when a message appeared at the bottom of my screen informing me that I did not have a legal version of Windows 7. That was alarming at first, given that I had paid for this a long time ago, that it had been validated and accepted as genuine by Microsoft, and that everything had been running smoothly.
I checked online and there were lots of other people who had had the same problem, which was comforting in the same way that it is comforting to know that other people are suffering from a cold when you are. I did not like the look of some of the technical advice on offer, particularly meddling with and amending different system files, and decided to try the Tech Support approach to resolving the problem… turning it on and off again.
(long pause as it rebooted)
It worked. The message has gone and my legality is no longer in question. Hooray.
Until the next glitch.
At this point I could draw parallels with the forgiveness that God offers through Jesus – a reboot, a fresh start, a removal of the stain, and so on. But the point I want to make surrounds how I felt when I was wrongly being accused of pirating software (aharr matey). I felt indignant that my honesty was being questioned, that my integrity was under review and upset that what I knew to be true was being doubted (even if it was by a software glitch).
We don’t like injustice when we are the victims. We will fight tooth and nail to prove our innocence if we are. We will go to extraordinary lengths to establish that we are not at fault.
So why don’t we go to the same lengths for others when they experience injustice?
If you want to make a difference to others, how about standing alongside someone at work who is being mistreated? How about writing to your MP about global trade injustice? How about promising to pray for an organisation like International Justice Mission (or support them more directly)? How about standing with someone who is being bullied at school or college, and refusing to join in when someone else is ridiculed? How about committing yourself not to tell any more jokes about blondes, ethnic groups, or others who are ridiculed in the name of humour? How about going to an appeal with someone who is struggling to cope with unfair decisions made about their benefits?
Be blessed, be a blessing.
A police officer in a small town stopped a motorist who was speeding down the main street.
“But officer,” the man said, “I can explain. It’s an emergency…”
“It always is!!!” snapped the officer. “Be quiet…or I’m going to let you cool off at the station until the Superintendent gets back.”
“But officer, I just wanted to say….”
“And I said KEEP QUIET! Now you’re going to accompany me to the station!”
A few hours later, the policeman checked up on his prisoner and said, “Lucky for you that the Superintendent’s at his daughter’s wedding. He’ll be in a good mood when he gets back.”
“Don’t count on it,” said the man in the cell. “I’m the groom!”