I have always had the ability to gather and store sayings and proverbs, a fair percentage of which have been handed down to me via my Mum. Whether this is really useful I am not sure, perhaps sometimes it is useful as they can be based on experience and aimed at preventing others from making errors. They can occasionally be useful in quiz games as well.
Anyway, just recently an incident prompted one of them out of storage. Actually I know two versions and there may well be others, the first being ‘there is many a slip twixt bedpan and hip’ and the second goes ‘there is many a slip between cup and lip. Needless to say, I find more amusement in the first. What happened was this, Hubert and I caught the bus to Barton Post Office then, having been to the Post Office, we set off to walk home. As we were heading down towards the Barton Hill pelican crossing there was a young chap on a bicycle peddling up the path opposite, he was using a mobile telephone. When he got to the crossing he immediately turned, cycling across with one hand on handlebar the other with phone to his ear. He had just barely reached the other side when a car sped past (from behind us) missing him by inches. This so unnerved him that he lost control and ended up on the pavement, his bike with a buckled front wheel and obviously with some pain in his ankle. We stopped to see if there was anything we could do and a few minutes later a friend of his arrived on the scene to help him and bike on the journey home. Fortunately he was able to put some weight on his ankle.
All of this is not as clear cut as it seems. The young chap obviously was ill advised to be using his phone whilst riding and in not stopping because he must have been able to see the car approaching. Yet, equally, the car driver had enough time to see the cyclist approach and turn on to the crossing, yet he made absolutely no attempt to slow down, quite the contrary it seemed. The young chap had seemingly, we don’t know, relied on the driver easing off the accelerator and must have been very frightened when this was not the case. Dangerous driving, yes? It was all over and done within seconds, but a momentary slip came close to costing the cyclist his life. I thank God that he was safe, for our sake as well as his.
Thinking about it, there are sometimes moments on our journey of faith which are both brief and pivotal. A ‘yes’, or ‘no’ said without hesitation, or prayer either for that matter. Words spoken later regretted, unspoken too and then later regret. Missed opportunities to witness and I am sure you can think of many other examples too. Grant us wisdom Lord, against acting both impulsively and thoughtlessly – at the same time!