Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Excuses


A post card arrived this morning. I don’t know anyone who is not tied into school holidays in some form or another, so the idea of anyone on holiday right now is not logical.

There are four pictuersue scenes of Woolacombe on the front and a paragraph of scrawled writing on the back. The weather apparently is mixed rain and sun but not cold and a lot of walking has been done and large ice-creams have been eaten.

It was from my sister. I know her writing and she doesn’t scrawl. I thought perhaps that someone else, my niece perhaps, or perhaps it was even the great niece who is possibly five by now and reads well, but still has to to master writing skills.

Wrong on both accounts! The last sentence reads “Two more weeks of plaster cast – hope you can decipher the scrawl.”

I have to confess that my sister’s handwriting, even with a plaster cast on the wrist, is a lot neater than some people’s “scrawl” without such an injury! I might even suggest that it is neater than my own plaster-cast-free scribble.

What really impresses me though is that she wrote the card. How many of us in her situation would have a) got the niece to write the card, b) got the grand niece to write the card, c) the husband perhaps, d) phoned instead or e) just decided to dispense with the whole postcard business anyway on account of the broken wrist? I am so impressed that she didn’t do that and it makes me feel treasured.

It also challenges me. It is so easy to allow hindrances to stop us from doing things. I think of all the things that I opt out of. Sometimes I am looking for an excuse not to do it – it is cold outside, it’s dark outside, I have a bit of a tickle in my throat and wouldn’t like to pass on my germs to anyone, I’m tired, I’ve had a hard day…and that’s without thinking hard about it.

My sister’s broken wrist doesn’t qualify as an excuse not to send a postcard. It’s not an excuse at all, but a genuine reason. But she didn’t let it stop her. She wrote the postcard in a very untidy scrawl – better that, she thought, than no card at all.

I was thinking that lately I have been making too many excuses why I can’t do some of the things that God is asking me to do. I spoke on Sunday about the “greater things” that Jesus said his followers would do.

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

I am finding some of the not-so-great things challenging enough even before I begin to think about the greater things. My faith should not in my ability to do what is asked or not, but in God’s promise that says I “will do greater things”.

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