Chappy’s corner “These things happen!”

An elderly lady in the church named Alice walked through the church door all shook up. The pastor’s wife saw her and went over and asked, “What’s the matter Alice?”  Alice replied, “Oh my son is going to be so upset with Me.!”  “Why would he be upset?” the pastor’s wife asked.  Alice looked at her and said, “This morning I forgot to open the garage door before I backed up and I drove right through it.” The pastor’s wife trying to console Alice said, “Oh, I’m sure you son will understand. These things happen!” Alice looked at her and said, “Twice?”  I understand Alice’s worry, since I recently had a run in with my garage too.  These things happen.  Accidents do happen especially when driving an automobile. The question is how do we handle it?


Awhile back I heard the story of a man getting a phone call from a police officer. The conversation went something like this:  “Hello this is Officer Smith with the sheriff’s office and I’m calling to inform you that you son, Ted had a car accident on country road 50 with another car.” Immediately the father began cussing and swearing about his son shouting things like “What the @#$& was he doing out by the lake… Is the car damaged badly?  Is the car totaled or can we drive it? Has anyone called the insurance company?  Whose fault is it? “After about five minutes of this kind of chatter, the officer stopped the man and said, “Do you want to know if your son is okay or not?”


Many people are that way. They get so upset things that they forget to ask about the people involved.   Hopefully we are more concerned about the person or people involved in the accident.  Broken garage doors can be repaired; cars can be replaced, but people are more fragile.  Not only can bones and bodies be broken, but there are the emotional and mental wounds that many folks suffer.  Accidents can and will happen, but they don’t have to destroy the relationships we have with others. 


We all make mistakes and like Alice we sometimes make the same mistake twice maybe even three times when folks make mistakes ( and we all do) we  need forgiveness.  Forgiveness means starting over again with a clean slate.  But how often should we forgive.   The Apostle Peter once asked Jesus how many times we should forgive someone, up to seven times.  When Peter said that he was being generous because many folks thought three times was the limit., but Jesus said, “seventy times seven. “ 


Now I know two little boys who heard in Sunday school that story and they did the math. As they were coming home from Sunday school the one brother told the other. So when our big brother picks on us we have to forgive him seventy times seven.” The other said, “Yes that’s right but when we get to 490 we can then get even.”


When Jesus said seventy times seven he didn’t mean 490 times and then you get even.  Instead Jesus was encouraging us to forgive others as God forgives us.  God’s forgiveness is truly amazing, because the debt we owe to God couldn’t be paid by any of us.  But God choose to have His son pay the price for us. That’s why Jesus died to pay for our sins.  His suffering and death enables us to be forgiven of all our wrongs, mistakes and sins.  With God there is no limit because Christ paid the full price.  We are forgiven and as forgiven people we are encouraged to forgive others…even if they do make the same mistake twice or three times… Of course if one keeps making the same mistake over and over again, then we out of love and concern for that person need to help them see their mistakes and give them guidance so that hopefully they won’t keep repeating the same mistake because as we all know these things happen.


That’s just my thoughts from this SE corner of South Dakota. 

CH (COL) David Gunderson