Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I sense a lot of that just now. If there had been this done at an earlier date. If more had been put into place in this area and that. If we had been enlightened earlier. If, if and if….
We experienced floods earlier in the year.
I feel it is like trying to stem an on coming flood which we have to acknowledge has a power all of its own which sometimes is unstoppable.
Yes, prediction and preparation and precautions will help based on previous experiences and for most times it is enough but then comes the precise combination of circumstances that collide into an unprecedented flood that sets a new bar and ceiling and which now prove the old is not sufficient and new strategies become necessary whilst, meanwhile, for some the mopping up has become tragic and the accusations commence from all quarters.
It seems natural in our blame culture to have a need to put blame somewhere and frequently a lot of time, energy and money expended on just that.
What would have been far more productive would be these energies being spent on resolving, repairing, restoring.
It is scriptural advise not to look back but forward to plough the straight furrow , to stay on the straight and narrow to progress and to make headway into the future are the focus.
Recollection of the past is only useful to not repeat the same mistakes as we go forward.
No one goes purposely forward to fail. Fail they may through their misjudgment, error or sometimes by putting faith in or relying on others and what you expect to be done and it is not being done.
You can sit in a place of criticism if you do and criticisms if you don’t.
The criteria may change the direction may change and the original course no longer be appropriate or sufficient, generally the unpredictability of circumstances take a lot of keeping up with. Sometimes the sheer volume, as in the flood water, sheer numbers required as in PPE can overwhelm.
Every action has an outcome where judgement is seldom helpful only insight and wisdom to improve and solve it going forward. The spilt milk can no longer be useful only the provision and supply of some more. Praise the good and act to change what isn’t.
It is good that for example lots of UK manufacturers and businesses are seeing the needs and jumping in to assist regarding lack of PPE, all hands on deck making a difference.
It takes humility to accept help, to acknowledge where ignorance short sightedness, misplaced trust and expectations have failed.
Lets pull together, forget pride, forget getting one up, forget the temptation to ridicule or condemn and instead to do what we can do.
For some of us that may be to pray, for others it may be to answer prayer, to provide, to finance, to be charitable not judgemental.
For us all to seek the common good and make sure we are doing what we can for our brothers and sisters. To remembering we can all fall short.
‘Let he who has never failed cast the first stone ‘ is a similar statement to Jesus drawing the line in the sand and saying ‘let he who has not sinned be the first to cast a stone’ at the woman and one by one the stones were laid aside and the crowd dispersed and Jesus’ words of freedom to the same woman to say and ‘neither do I condemn you go and sin no more.’
This remodelling brings to mind also how we are given the image of God modelling and remodelling us, having the need to crush us and remould us like clay into the vessel or person we are purposed to be.
Also the concept of being a work in progress, not perfect but being refined and purified along the journey frequently on recognition of the faults and flaws as they become visible in a life unravelling but never trashed, always lovingly made into greater and more beautiful.
The way is forwards and upwards, never back.
The illustration is inspired by God being the potter and we the clay. We are the works of His hand not only in creation but in our whole being our entire lives.
Hands that will bend me, shape me any way He wants me! Quoted from the Amen Corner pop hit of 1968!
The two scriptures that come to mind are:
‘Lord, You are the Father we are the clay and You are our potter the work of Your hand Isaiah 64
‘Behold like the clay in the potters hands so are you.’ Jer. 8