Shakespeare once said: “Life is a stage…” In a sense that’s true. We only have one shot at life here on earth. When an actor forgets his or her words, they can’t edit that mistake and fix it. You have to get it right the first time. There’s no cutting and pasting.
But in today’s society, we like the idea of a quick fix. We can type an email and we are not too concerned about our spelling or punctuation because “Word” will fix it, the final product will be flawless, and we end up looking like language experts. We can record a video and not be too concerned about the details because, that too can be fixed at a later stage.
It seems as if this we-can-fix-it-later attitude has spilt over into every aspect of our lives. But here’s the thing; once I’ve said or done something, there’s no way of taking it back. I can’t tell the person to forget about it as if it never happened and then present the correct wording or action to them. It’s like a play… we only have one chance to get this life right.
But here’s the Good News! God knows we’re not perfect. He knows that we are going to “forget our words”. Through the cross, Jesus not only edits our mess-ups, but He completely wipes them from our wrap sheets. When God looks at the pages and pages of my (supposed to be endless) wrap sheet, He only sees blank pages. There’s nothing there because it’s all been nailed to the cross.
The beginning of this “clean wrap sheet” process, is to acknowledge that we are sinners and that we have messed up. Only then do we realise we need a Saviour. Sadly, this part of the Gospel seems to be left out because we hate to admit or hear that we aren’t perfect. In fact, the other day I was asked to give a lesson about the prodigal son to a class in a very prominent “Christian” school in Melbourne. In that devotion I mentioned that we are all sinners and have all messed up, just like that young man in the parable. Afterwards I was told that it probably wasn’t a good idea to tell the kids that they are sinners because many of them aren’t Christians and their parents might be offended. I rest my case!
So here’s the thing. Because we can never change what we’ve done or said here on earth, we need to take heed. There’s no “Take 2 or 6”. What’s done in done and it can really hurt those around us. We are meant to be the salt that flavours the world with God’s love. We are called to be God’s colours in a polluted world. So let’s try and get it right the first time. But, on the occasion that we don’t, it’s not the end of the world. Jesus made sure of that.
Have an amazing day as you colour this world with love!