St Barnabas Church, Joydens Wood

Vicar’s Letter May 2017

I have often thought that it would be helpful to have a secret ‘Undo’ button on my life, just as we have on our computers, so that the most recent action can be undone, deleted, wiped out, as if it had never happened.

It would be extremely useful for those ‘Oh dear I shouldn’t have done that!’ moments.

We all have them, don’t we?

Our mind on other things, we reach for the salt canister instead of the sugar jar, and then – too late - we realise that the cake mixture will have to be thrown away.

A careless movement, and the treasured ornament lies in pieces on the floor. Any attempt at repair impossible.

An unwise snip of the garden shears and a beautiful bud is severed from the parent plant, never to bloom.

A headlong rush for a train without looking where we’re going - and we end up with a twisted ankle.

Those circumstances are unfortunate and they are sad, but sadder yet are the mistakes that damage other people.

A thoughtless word... and you see the hurt in someone else’s face. And the words can’t be un-said. Even if you apologise, the words will be remembered.

An unkind email written in anger and in haste, and the ‘send’ button pressed, and in an instant we regret it, and want to recall it, knowing the hurt that will be caused.
Or much, much worse, a moment’s inattention at the wheel, perhaps because (though we know we shouldn’t do it), we were glancing at a text message, and there is an accident, and another’s life is changed forever.

One of the real blessings of the Christian faith is the understanding that through the Grace of God, even in the most terrible circumstances, forgiveness and healing and reconciliation are possible, that God offers a new beginning for each of us when things seem to have gone very badly wrong.

And, even more amazingly, as we look back on our lives, sometimes it is out of the things that have gone wrong, because of our thoughtlessness and our mistakes, that in time, quite unexpectedly, we can see good things happening.

God doesn’t give us an ‘Undo’ button on our lives. However he does enable us to grow and learn from our mistakes, and to go forward, as perhaps wiser and better people.

God bless
Ren Harding (Vicar of Joydens Wood)
contact me at The Vicarage, 6 Tile Kiln Lane

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