Monthly Reflection – September 2013
Good Morning! I hope this month’s reflection finds you all well.
It is important to check your oil!
Light and Darkness, Sin and Forgiveness
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
1 John 1 5-8
1 Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.5 then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. 6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. 7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. 9 Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. 10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him. 11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart.
I am going to begin this month’s reflection with a very broad sweeping statement that may surprise a number of you who know I am ex- Roads Policing – ‘I don’t like cars’. There I’ve said it ‘I don’t like cars’– on the basis of that statement I am never going to figure heavily in the BBC programme ‘Top Gear’ but I can cope with that!
The actual sentiment of that statement is probably more like ‘I am annoyed by how much my car has cost me lately!’
A few of weeks ago I was home alone as Mrs and Small Evans had gone camping with friends (I couldn’t get leave!) when I realised that I had not provided for myself an evening meal. I decided that I would drive to my local supermarket and get something nutritious and healthy- I jumped in my car and drove to the shop where I grabbed a number of items to cook dinner (yes I can cook) – I was looking forward to popping home, cooking dinner and sitting down to watch a couple of programmes that I had recorded. This is where my evening took a decided turn for the worse……
As I drove out of the supermarket during the evening rush hour my car suddenly stopped- and when I say stopped I do mean it stopped! No warning, no horrible noises or slow death it just stopped dead. I was there stuck in the middle of the road now blocking a lane- As you can imagine I was annoyed frustrated and a touch embarrassed and as you also imagine everyone else was really helpful and not impatient or annoyed at all at the small car causing chaos…..!
After managing to get my car to the side of the road I made a number of phone calls; I was eventually rescued by the fine fellows of the R.A.C. They managed to get me home with my now very poorly car that was not working at all. The parting shot from the R.A.C. man was ‘It’s not driveable mate- I think that is going to be expensive!’ My car was transported to our garage locally where the trained mechanics did their thing and found out what was wrong……..
This is where I now have to be honest and say I have really no reason to blame anyone except myself for the breakdown that my car had suffered……. My car had stopped because of poor maintenance on my part! And the mechanics made sure they told me so….. More than once! I had missed at least one service on my car- I had put it off time and again despite Mrs Evans reminding me that my car needed a service (Sorry Mrs Evs!) and more worryingly I had put off an essential piece of maintenance on my car that had led to a sensor on the engine stopping it dead- I did in fact have a weakened timing belt that should have been replaced months ago and had narrowly avoided a terminal breakdown to my car by just a few miles! Generally I had not done what needed to be done to keep my car running! As such it led to a number of cold and wet journeys to work and elsewhere on my motorbike! The only person I should be angry at is me- I am the one who ignored the warning light on the dash board and the only person to blame for the extra cost involved is me! I was the one who suffered the annoyance of breaking down, the cost of the repair and the wet rides to work!
The message is that it is important for us to make sure that we are doing basic maintenance to our cars and our lives to ensure we can keep going in the right direction. It has been described to me in two ways before- ‘Keep a short account with God’ and ‘never let the sun go down on a mistake’.
As a believer in the word and forgiving Grace of God I firmly believe that we should try and live a life that is pleasing to him. With that in mind it is important to always reflect on our daily walk and acknowledge if we have fallen short of what God expects or requires of us. The truth is that none of us are perfect and that we all fail from time to time- And yes I do include myself in that!
The important thing to remember is that by keeping a short account of those failures it helps us to learn, change, grow stronger as Christians and become more like Christ- (See Romans 12: 1-2). By not ‘ignoring the warning lights on the dash board of our lives’ we strive to make those failures fewer and further apart. We see in the scripture above that God Loves us even though we fail, that forgiveness for sin is readily available to us all and that this is our only hope of salvation- All we have to do is ask!
‘Dear Lord, thank you for Grace, thank you for the Love that you show to me every day and help me to become more like you in everything that I do. Help me, guide me and show me where I have fallen short. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to you and to be a strong and faithful witness to those around me- Amen.’
Branch Leader Hertfordshire C.P.A.