Monday, August 08, 2011

Pause for Thought
The Zoe Ball Show
BBC Radio 2
Saturday, August 6th, 2011

The person who reads the gas and electricity meter at the Rectory where I live near Edinburgh knows when I've sat down for my lunch or lain down for a wee nap or am in the middle of a difficult phone call. The doorbell rings, the dogs start barking - chaos reigns. We miss him most of the time and get a card stuffed through the mail slot to fill in and send back. My wife's dog usually chews that up. The ones that are still legible I oftentimes neglect to fill in.

And so I get a visit. Always at the wrong time. The doorbell. The dogs. Chaos.

And what would they tell me if they got their information? That the winter has been long and I owe them more than I think in heating costs. That I've been leaving too many lights on and I owe them money for electricity. It's a bill after all - one which accumulates and which I'd rather forget about.

And so I get a visit.

There's not much in life that gets avoided. Less than we think. Not much we can conceal which somebody won't eventually require of us - loudly. We take a certain amount of pleasure in watching the high and mighty dragged before committees to answer questions. It's about time, we think, about time that the truth was told.

Not only is it a component of most religious traditions that we owe Somebody a reckoning, it's the experience we have of being observers of the ups and downs of other people's lives - that their performance at work is eventually found out - their lack of dedication to their spouse - their nickel and dime dishonesty when it comes to expenses - their lack of engagement in the lives of their children. It does come out eventually - and sometimes too late.

The time to turn things around is now. With the dog eared slip of paper asking us to make a regular accounting, with timely conversations with people we may have offended. With requests for grace and forgiveness.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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