Monday, July 14, 2008

Alarm Bells

This past week I needed to use a public library in order to go on-line. After a few days I felt adjusted to the process, signing ahead for computer allocation, reading my personal messages in public, and even getting used to the library layout. Reaching the computer room was not obvious from the main entrance, but round corners and up some stairs. However, with confidence, on my last day I signed off, waltzed down the stairs, turned right, past shelves of books, and threw open the discover that they were alarmed (loudly), and intended for emergency use only. Two library staff came rushing to find who was to blame. All library users turned to witness my embarrassment. My explanation that I forgot where the main entrance was seemed very feeble.
The immediate impact, (apart from needing to apologize and use the main doors to exit), involved shock of being so publicly exposed for a mistake. But, on reflection, I thought of those times when my sins of commission and omission have passed without anyone appearing to notice. And the false sense of self-worth this brings.
Actually, God does know everything I do (Psalm 139:1). In his mercy He rarely rings alarm bells publicly, but He expects me to be constantly aware of His knowledge and strength:
Examine me O God and know my mind
test me, and discover my thoughts.
Find out if there is any evil in me
and guide me in the everlasting way (Psalm 139: 23, 24).

(Not to be outdone, arriving at the London house where we are staying in Spurgeon's College, Carol set off the alarm - again, extremely loudly and embarrassingly!)

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