No. 26 - 05th February 2017

I was standing at the traffic lights in front of Boots one day, waiting for the pedestrian light to turn green. There were no cars coming, so I was about to cross the road anyway, when I noticed a mother with two small children on the other side of the road. They were patiently waiting for the light to turn green before crossing, and I thought, if I cross now while the light is red, what’s that going to do to those children? And what about the mother? How’s she going to feel about it? There she is, trying to teach her children how to cross the road safely, and I’m about to rubbish it all by showing that you don’t have to wait for the lights. That really pulled me up short. They weren’t my children, but what sort of a person does it make me if I’m prepared to destroy their training and put their little lives at risk, just to save a few seconds for myself.

Do I have any responsibility towards those children? I think some people might so ‘no’. It’s nothing to do with me. Well, I’m not so sure of that. On the one hand, it depends on what sort of community I want to live in. I would hate to be surrounded by people who couldn’t care less about me or anyone else. To me, that sounds like a vision of hell, and fortunately, Uckfield isn’t like that. But this is also about me and the sort of person I want to be. I don’t want to damage other lives whether consciously or unconsciously. And apart from anything else, God is going to hold me accountable for all my actions and behaviour, and the effect I have on other people.

Think of the youngsters who were destroying all the newly planted trees in the High Street. Where did they get that from? Who told them it was OK to go around destroying other people’s property? I don’t suppose anyone said it to them in so many words, but as adults, our behaviour has a huge impact on a child. We all grew up looking at the adults around us, trying to figure out what life is all about and how to cope with it. As a child we get our concept of right and wrong from adults. So of course we have a responsibility. Our community here in Uckfield is dependant on the way we treat each other. So, as a guide, “In any given situation, treat other people in the way you would like them to treat you”. That was Jesus, not me.

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