Yesterday you were subjected to two bloggages in one day. I apologise. Nobody should have to suffer that!
I had been reflecting and writing the second one (about theology from a joke) and had intended to schedule it for delivery today. I thought I had successfully set that up and hit ‘publish’ only for the system to throw a small wobbly and I had to go back to a previously saved draft – which had not been scheduled. I didn’t realise that and ‘published’ immediately. The bloggage went out into the world and, short of going back in time, there was nothing I could do about it.
Once you have released a bloggage into the wild it cannot be recalled. It’s the same with things we say or do that hurt others – once they have happened we can’t make them unhappen. But we can, when we realise our error, admit it, seek forgiveness, try to repair damage and learn from what happened.
Last night we had a Church Meeting where, among other things, we appointed new deacons (those who serve by leading and lead by serving). Three people had generously agreed to be nominated and I was thrilled that all three had agreed to stand – they are all brilliant Christians who have so much to offer us as a church.
I was upset, therefore, when one of the three did not receive sufficient votes within the meeting to be elected. If I am honest I was a bit annoyed too. And I was very concerned for the person who had not been elected – how would they feel having been willing to stand and then not been appointed?
Immediately after the meeting I was able to meet with the person who had not been successful and was instantly blessed by their grace and wisdom. Her wisdom, faith and humility humbled me. And I had to change my attitude.
At the start of the meeting I read a passage from the Bible and mentioned how we believe that God speaks to us all when we are gathered together. I prayed that he would guide us. And before the ‘election’ I said that it was not a democracy but a theocracy, where we are seeking God’s will together and using the method of voting as a way of discerning that (it’s less messy than some of the methods mentioned in the Bible!).
In our time together after the meeting Silvia (she’s given me permission to use her name) told me that she felt peace about the outcome because it was God’s will. That blessed me more than she could have known, and also made me stop and reflect.
When the meeting voted and discerned that it was not right for one of the nominees and I was upset and annoyed I was actually behaving a bit like a petulant child who did not get his way, and I was actually upset and annoyed with God! Oops.
So a couple of apologies are in order: sorry to God for ignoring him when he had led us and being sufficiently arrogant to believe that I knew better than him; and sorry to the church for not practising what I was preaching and not having enough faith in God and trust in his people that we would get it right.
I need a big badge saying, “Please be patient, God hasn’t finished with me yet.”
The wonderful thing is that God is gracious and willing to give fresh starts when we ask him.