Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
This weekend the clocks go back one hour to Greenwich Mean Time.
Have you ever wished you could turn back time? Perhaps you have spoken a sharp word in anger, or frustration. Even as the words are on your lips you know it is wrong to utter them but nevertheless they come tumbling out. The damage is done for once spoken they cannot be recalled. The writer of the Book of Proverbs was well aware of this problem since he makes no fewer than 21 references to the effect of speaking. For example: ‘The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.’ Proverbs 15:4 (NIV). No doubt on occasions you have been on the receiving end of someone else’s barbed tongue. The arrow has pierced, the wound inflicted. As with any wound if left untreated it will fester leeching poison into the system. Friendships, relationships once solid, will be broken down by the bitterness and rancour inflicted by the poisoned dart. Perhaps before speaking we should pray as Job did: ‘my lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.’ Job 27:4 (AKJV)
What now? The answer, which trips lightly off the tongue of the friend but is much harder to put into practice, is to seek forgiveness. C S Lewis once said: ‘To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable; because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.’ In this he echoes the words of St Paul: ‘and be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ Ephesians 4:32 (AKJV). Again, each time we recite the Lord’s Prayer we ask God to ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us.’ Yet, sadly, the hardest word to say sometimes is “Sorry”. However, seeking forgiveness is the only way to mend those broken fences, to restore the love that has been lost.
It is not possible to turn the clock back, and I accept that it is not easy to seek forgiveness at times, but it is something we must ask God to help us to do.
I am an Authorised Local Preacher in an Anglo Catholic parish church, in the Diocese of Essex UK