Two Magic Words // M-Note 5.26.23

One summer when I was around 10 years old, I was playing with some friends outside. There was a tree in our front yard that produced an inedible fruit that was a perfect size to throw. So one day, we decided to start plucking the fruit and throwing it at each other. Soon we discovered that when this fruit hit the ground, it splattered everywhere. We shifted course and started throwing this fruit on a neighbors driveway just to watch it explode upon landing! After about 15 minutes of fun, we had almost completely covered this concrete driveway with splattered dark fleshy fruit bombs. At that point, we knew that we had probably made a bad decision and ran home before we got caught.
It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out the culprit, and later that day my mom got a phone call from said neighbor. After a short conversation, she asked me to sit down to talk. Long story short, she made me walk over to the neighbors house the next day, admit what I had done, apologize, and clean off the driveway. It wasn’t enough to feel sorry, I had to go say it and (as best I could) fix what I had done.
I remember not wanting to go apologize. It was awkward, embarrassing, and would have been much easier to just avoid it. Kids mess up a fair amount and therefore have to get pretty good at saying “I’m sorry” (at least I did). But as we get older, it becomes harder for us to admit wrongdoing and say those two magic words. Maybe it is ego, pride, not wanting to be vulnerable, or the constant need to justify our behavior, but adults often short blame, deny wrongdoing, or outright refuse to admit that we ought to apologize.
This isn’t a good habit. In fact, so many of the conflicts in our life could be solved much sooner and less dramatically if we could simply say “I’m sorry.” Admitting fault (at least in part) is an act of vulnerability, and it is hard. Yet, this same act is also restorative and healing.  
This weekend, I will continue our series Faith Like a Child, and I will be talking about the power of saying, “I’m sorry”. I hope that along with the celebrations this weekend might hold, you will plan to be in worship. There are others in our lives that might need to hear this message so please, bring someone along with you.
I hope you have a great Memorial Day, and I will see you in church!
P.S. Tuesday May 30th I will be hosting NEXT. This is a great way to learn a little more about the church, meet other people, ask me questions, and find out how to get more connected. It will be at Sunny’s Cantina at 7pm. The food and drink is on us. Whether you’ve been at The Gathering a week or a few years, if you have never been to NEXT, please join me. You can find out more details and register here.
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