Repair and respect

His old car had seen better days. It was easy to see how the sun had faded its paintwork and a number of small skirmishes with posts and walls had left tell-tale bruises on the bodywork.  

He knew there was something not right happening under the bonnet but, not being mechanically minded, he wasn’t sure what the odd noises meant.

His finances were tight but he knew he needed his car. His first thought was to get the bodywork repaired so he could once again be proud of his vehicle and hope the motor lasted long enough for him to save up and get the local mechanic to check it out.

Although it didn’t make him happy, he decided the repairs to the motor were more important.

Scripture tells the story of how Jesus was once asked to heal a physical illness and his response was “Your sins are forgiven”. This response was viewed somewhat cynically by the onlookers and Jesus asked them what was easier, to repair what could be seen on the outside or the unseen inside?

Sometimes we can pray really hard for someone to get better and we see no physical signs of improvement in their health. This doesn’t mean that our God isn’t hearing our prayer. It means our prayer is being answered in the way our God feels is more important for our friend.

In our so-called ‘instant society’ we expect things to happen when we want them to happen, yet in God’s repair workshop the overall needs of the person being prayed for is of prime consideration.

Our prayer then can be one of repair and respect. We ask our God to repair what we see as a problem and we respect how this prayer is used and thank our God for hearing our request.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s faith.

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Safety and Health

It had taken some effort to crawl under the family caravan. It was hot and the dusty ground was hard on his back. Yet he managed to get into a suitable position where he could drill the two holes needed in the metal frame.

As he was about to commence his work, he realised he had forgotten to get his safety glasses from the shed. The thought of crawling back out from his cramped position was enough for him to say to himself; “Ah, she’ll be right, only two holes to drill and then I’m out of here”.

As the day wore on it became evident that he had something irritating in his eyes, so he tried the old eyebrow over eyelash and blow your nose trick, but that didn’t work. Neither did the eyedrops kept in the fridge for such an event offer any relief. Still the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude persisted, even into the next day.

It was only because it became hard to sleep that he realised he should do something about it. So, at midnight he arrived at the emergency entrance of the local hospital and joined the Saturday night queue, along with blood besmeared accident victims and others obviously ill and needing medical assistance.

Fortunately, the hospital was equipped with an optical consultation room and it was here he was informed he had pieces of steel in both eyes. The pain deadening drops were a relief, but then came the removal process, which had to be done by flipping the metal pieces out with a blunt needle.

Having survived this attack, he was next informed that because of the time he had taken to have the steel removed, rust had formed on his eyeballs. This required removal with a torch like battery operated shaft containing a small grinder. At the successful completion of this process, his eyes were thoroughly checked and he was informed he was very fortunate he had not done permanent damage to his eyesight.

And the moral of the story is that it is just as important to recognise safety and health issues at home as it is in the workplace.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s life.

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Rust

Our old car used to polish up fairly well considering its age.  But there came the day when a small lump appeared under the paintwork at the bottom of the driver’s door.

We didn’t take much notice of it at first, even though the lump got bigger and seemed to be spreading.  The inevitable happened, we had to replace the whole door.  We hadn’t attended to the rust in its early stage and the problem got beyond repair.

Sometimes we deliberately refrain from trying to repair a broken friendship and before we know it, our unresolved differences can easily develop into a form of corroding rust.  Gradually, hate can fester inside us and inevitably, the original relationship can become non-existant or very toxic.

Sometimes friendships break up for very petty reasons. Each side claiming to be in the right and with no obvious chance of reconciliation. It is sad to see families come together for a special occasion and a somewhat frosty environment exists because some family members no longer associate with others in the family.

Often it’s pride that keeps us from reconciling with each other. Swallowing our pride and being prepared to attempt to heal the differences might be difficult, but it may save us from affecting the rest of our life because of the rust we carry around in our heart.  In the process, we could regain a lasting friendship, or even unite families that have been parted for many years.

Let’s endeavour to fix the ‘rust’ before it permanently wrecks our life.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s life.

Criticism

It is strange how some people you meet in life seem to enjoy placing more emphasis on your mistakes and minor indiscretions than on your achievements.  It’s as if they want to ensure their superiority over you by ‘putting you down’.

There are nice ways of counselling others and helping them realise they have made a mistake.  We should always be aware, none of us are perfect. 

While others might make mistakes we would never dream of making, ridicule will only tend to make them look for excuses to support their actions, rather than find ways to ensure their mistakes are not repeated.

People who try to lord it over others, can tend to be insecure within themselves.  Often they can be jealous of other people’s achievements and even feel threatened by them.

If we want to criticise others, we should first turn to those areas in our own life where others could criticise us.  Perhaps this might allow us to look a little more kindly on other people’s mistakes.

We can be helped a lot by being corrected, but we can be helped a lot more by being encouraged.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s life.

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Persistence

It gets a bit warm out west in the summer, but night times in winter are an entirely different story.  Most of the time it’s dry and as we know, a drought can extend into years. Yet when it rains the resultant floods can cause havoc.

As Aussies we live in a land of contrasts. It can be pouring with rain along the coast but dry as a bone west of The Great Divide. It can be flooding in Rockhampton, yet we might be fighting bushfires in Victoria.

The Fremantle doctor can be a welcome breeze in the afternoon but a cyclone hitting Darwin or Innisfail can wreck enormous havoc.

Our lives tend to lead us through contrasts as well. We can all relate to having periods of great happiness and times of sadness. It seems few things only will remain constant in the whole of our lifetime.

The love partners have for each other can only survive the contrasts of life providing the commitment to love one another is taken seriously.

There will no doubt be periods when the partnership seems to be unbalanced. But as Aussies, we have a history of being able to persist when everything around us seems to be collapsing. If we consider love, more as giving of ourselves than taking from our partner, this might help.

So, throughout the contrasts of our lifetime relationships, let us try to persist in our loving and understanding of each another.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s life.

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