Wednesday, June 20, 2012

a certain lack of grace

Yesterday I made a mistake. It's best to be honest about these things. When you get things wrong - say it up front and centre. I got involved in a conversation, in which I put a point of view across inadequately, was pushed, was shouted down, and then I lost it a bit.

And it all happened on Twitter.

Which is, frankly, a poor place for a nuanced conversation anyway. 140 characters is a tricky limit when trying to say everything without being misinterpreted.

What really got my goat, in the midst of (badly) trying to make a point that a valid viewpoint in a debate was being foisted as the only viewpoint, the solitary Anglican line, and that this represented a very un-Anglican coup, and the denial of the breadth and depth of Christian experience and practice which lies at the core of Anglican ecclesiology - a bishop (well-known for terse & unfortunate social media interventions) intervened.

"Get over it," was his pastoral advice.

Those of you who know me well are picturing the words "red", "rag" and "bull". I believe I may have exhibited a certain lack of grace.

I fired off a round of tweets; it felt like I was being told by a bishop that I had backed the wrong horse and I needed to face facts, back the right horse and move on. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's exactly what he was saying. But it isn't a question of backing horses. It's a question of people and God and raising folk up to their full humanity in the best place possible - the worshipping fellowship of Christ's church. Or being told - yeah, forget that.

And then...

And then I remember something vital.

I am nobody and I don't matter. My words are futile and my arguments irrelevant. The only thing that matters is that I live honestly, faithfully, truthfully and with the love of Jesus as my guide. If I can do this, then although I will never change the world, I may change my small corner of it for the better.

Anger and disappointment are like walking through treacle, they grab at your feet like quicksand. We are called to rise, not to sink. Grace and kindness are the stuff that fill the winds under eagles' wings.

So I acknowledge my failings. I face them head on. And I give thanks that I may never have the chance to play any important role in any important decisions; but like everyone else I pray I might live the better life of grace and kindness and love. That all my unimportant words might bless and not curse.  And that when I fail, I might be forgiven and try again.

I think that sometimes, you get what you give. So here's to giving the good stuff. Surely that's the way we all win?


KWRegan said...

Did C.S. Lewis ever watch English football on TV?

The kind of existential question that bemuses me betides. Perhaps that would factor into A Grief Observed?

KWRegan said...

Meant to put a :-) on that last comment. But more serious now, while you're solving all the world's problems, how about these ideas:

1. If the attacking side is first to touch the ball after it has been grounded inside the penalty area, they have "possession". During possession there is no offsides, no goal kicks only throw-ins, and time cannot be called unless the attacking side are victors. Possession lasts until the defense grounds the ball across the midline. Would that cause more offense, or just cause offense?

2. In a game going to PK's where one side like Italy has over 70% of the midfield touches, not to mention chances, how about requiring that the battered side score 2 penalties just to receive credit for one? That could be assessed once for 60%, twice for 70%.

As long as you're Twittering about football in response to the Rev. Dr. Sentamu, occupying the comment space of your serious item in this manner seems condign :-).