Mistakes

Some Mistakes Are So Impressive That Everyone Hears About Them

Ed my old neighbor from Saskatchewan has always said, “Sin boldly and let everyone talk about it for a week or two.” I am sure the Hawaiian employee who pressed the wrong button and activated Hawaii’s Emergency Alert System earlier this year wasn’t trying to get everyone talking and in a panic. I see it as a mistake that wasn’t deliberate but just happened. I have spent a lifetime making errors about many different things. I sympathize with the employee as I know his name could have been mine.

Our own mistakes are often most problematic to ourselves. We tend to be gentle with ourselves when we are to blame for our own mistakes. When our mistakes affect others, the criticism rolls towards us with the force of a tidal wave or a Tsunami. When the employee pushed the wrong button, the cell phones of every Hawaiian lit up and told them a missile attack was imminent. The alert made it clear that it was not a drill! What people did not know, for, some time, was that the warning was a mistake.

Folks panicked at the alert and tried to take cover. Many saw the alert as a death sentence speeding towards them. When it was clear that the alert was a mistake, people were relieved, and many were angry. Most people will admit they have made mistakes in life, but when others make mistakes, they demand to know how the error could have happened. Mistakes lead to doubt and leave people asking, “Do those in charge know what they are doing?”

Some of us will admit that we do not always do everything without mistakes especially at work. We know that things can and do go wrong with regularity. Perfection in a system may be here today and gone tomorrow because nothing is fool-proof. This side of heaven there is always room for mistakes and a need to do better. Hawaii’s Emergency Alert System is meant to keep the people alert to real danger coming towards them. An employee caused a false alarm. People were called to face an alert that a missile out of North Korea could hit Hawaii in 20 minutes.

What should a person do when it has been made clear that death is almost upon them? Do you run? Do you phone, text, or tweet, family, and closest friends? Do you take shelter? Do you pray or curse God? Who would you hug or slug? The time will come when we are forced to accept our life is out of control and our end could be a reality. If it is hard to face life with enthusiasm every day, who can find the enthusiasm to face the startling truth that they could die within minutes? Death has an appointment with each of us, but it is one appointment that we tend not to face until we are forced to do so.

The Bible is clear that there is a time for everything. A time to be born and a time to die. Our lives come down to, a number of, days, hours, minutes and seconds, even if, we have seen many years. When we stand before God, will we confess? “Jesus died to save me a sinner!”

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Raymond Maher
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