Thought for the Month (September 2007)

My brother and I were reminiscing recently about our childhood and were surprised how differently we remembered outings or special events. We agreed, however, on really basic behaviour Mum and Dad taught us.

"Once you have accepted one invitation, you don't accept what you think is a better one."

"When you're asked to help around the house, the time was NOW, not when you thought it convenient."

"Answer me when I call you, then I know you have heard."

I'm sure these are familiar to you. Be absolutely truthful and honest, they were everyday teaching. Looking back, I think the best was "You can do anything you really want to do." There are no teachers in the family, but they backed me all the way, as they did my brother when he wanted to go to Maidstone Agricultural College and later managed a pig farm.

I suppose there is always a really good excuse for not doing something you think might be a good idea. (I expect you can think of examples.) Jesus listened to excuses. People haven't changed much over the last 2000 years and Jesus told parables of good excuses for not going to the great banquet. At the end of Luke 9, would-be disciples say to Jesus "I will follow you wherever you go….But..!!" There were very good excuses.

I read recently "Nobody is excluded by his own choice. The disqualifying sin is to find pre-occupation more attractive than the friendship of God." Needs thinking about! I think it means that if you really want it, the friendship of God is yours.

My mum told me "You can do anything you really want to." "You really want" is the vital phrase – the sky’s the limit – a phrase we know it's true. So, if we want to, we have total access to God our Father and Jesus, our Saviour.

This is September's magazine. When I was a teacher, September was the beginning of the school year and I had a new diary. So it's a good time for New Year resolutions. What do you really want? We can have a wonderful relationship with our marvellous God, and we're actually helped by his Holy Spirit to achieve it.

No excuses - you can do anything you really want to, as long as you forget the excuses.

Audrey Mitchell

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Tunbridge Wells United Reformed Church