The news of the capture of Gaddafi yesterday was an amazing breakthrough for the people of Libya, but it caused a mixture of emotions in me. The first and strongest emotion came out as “Good, he got what he deserved.” There is no doubt that he did, since by all accounts he was a brutal dictator who had no compassion for others and would readily eliminate anyone who got in his way. But as the news developed from the initial rumour to solid fact, I started to feel other emotions.
We all have times of heartache in our lives. If we haven’t, then it’s one of those “not yet” things – sooner or later, heartache will probably come.
It’s part of life, part of growing up. We get emotionally attached to someone, then it all goes wrong. Everything falls apart, our lives crumble into sadness, and we find ourselves, as Elvis Presley sang, in Heartbreak Hotel.
It hurts, deep inside it hurts. “That’s it – no more relationships! I’m not going through that again! Never again! I’m finished with love!” (I can’t remember what age I was when it happened to me, but I’m glad that I changed my mind about being finished with love!)
The Lord has gifted Bezalel, Oholiab, and the other skilled craftsmen with wisdom and ability to perform any task involved in building the sanctuary. Let them construct and furnish the Tabernacle, just as the Lord has commanded. (Ex 36:1, NLT)
It’s always great to watch an artist at work. With just a few lines, a blank page can be brought to life, a story can reveal itself. But it isn’t just artists that can amaze – I am stunned at how quickly a carpet fitter can transform a great sheet of stiff carpet into a perfect fit for a room; or how an author can grab our attention with that book you just can’t put down; or how a surgeon can mend a broken face. There are so many skills out there, so many abilities.
I have blogged before about perfection in Being Perfect and it is one area where I tend to get into disagreement with other Christians, even Pastors. Most people I talk to say that it is impossible to be perfect. Bearing in mind my own track record, I tend to agree with them. But – and it is an almighty but – we are told to be perfect by Jesus himself :
You must be perfect â€” just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48, TEV)
It doesn’t seem to matter what translation you use. I looked at 15 different versions, and all of them, with the sole exception of The Message, used the word “perfect”. In all of these translations, it wasn’t a request, it wasn’t a suggestion. It was a command.
Can you remember the worst thing you have ever done? What category does it fall into – embarrassing, dodgy, illegal, evil? Is it worse than anything anyone you know has ever done? Does it scream at you, or merely give you a nudge? Was it a long time ago, or fairly recent? Maybe it was a one-off, or perhaps a serial occurrence? Does it lie in wait for you, or is it in your mind all the time?
Answers on a postcard to…..