I don’t know about you, but I seem to learn best after I mess up. I really would like to be smart enough-- wise enough-- to get everything right the first time. It seems, though, that the best, most transformative and long-lasting growth comes from a few hard knocks. I was enjoying listening to Pastor Arlena’s message today right up until she hit me where it hurt. Her admonition to make the most of every opportunity and to watch our words as they either point people to Jesus or away from Him, brought me face to face with a situation I find myself in today.

It started many years ago as I was playing a sport which I am very serious about. I had a small confrontation with another player before a game; although it did not escalate, it would be truthful to say we have not cared much for each other ever since. This person is not in the group of people I regularly compete against, so I kind of forgot about it for the most part. Ah, but God has a funny sense of humor. Well, not really “sense of humor,” but he wasn’t going to let this go without using it as a teachable experience. (Thank you, God.)

Since covid started I have transitioned into another sport. And, guess who runs the league where I now go to play this new sport? Yup, you guessed it. It’s been difficult and not pleasant at all for the last 6 months playing around this person. Today finally was a small breakthrough towards working back to where we should have been if it had not been for some hasty words on my part many years ago. It’s true, as Pastor Arlena reminded us, that we need to stay close to God and we can’t introduce anyone to someone we don’t know. It’s also true that we can’t introduce Him, no matter how well we know Him, to someone we have alienated. The caution to make the most of every opportunity really resonates with me as I do the hard work to win back the relationship I should have had.

I am comforted by Proverbs 24:16 that the godly may trip 7 times (or maybe 7 times 70, who knows) but they will get up again. I’m working on getting up again.

by Fred Meserall
Fred and his wife Susan began attending Kingsway in June of 2014. They found Kingsway to be a place of refreshment and healing after their previous church experience. Fred is passionate about pursuing God, family, and lifegroups (including his current group which has been meeting continuously for 16 years). Fred and Susan absolutely love the fact that they, their two daughters and their husbands, and grandchildren all attend church together. Fred is a non-recovering “aquaholic” who enjoys spending as much time as possible at the beach, communing with God, working on his videoblog (aptly titled “Still at the Beach”), and all things surf and family.




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