Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Death of a Postman

I heard on the news last night that a lad I used to play football with was knocked down and killed while riding his postman's bike along the A46. The lorry driver from Leicester who was responsible, is being charged with manslaughter.

Nicky was a decent lad, he enjoyed being a postman, and he always treated me with respect, never failing to say hello on the infrequently occasions we passed in the street. He was two years my junior, at 28 years of age.
You can tell how strongly his colleagues feel about his loss, because before the sun had even set on the news, there were many flowers placed outside the town's post office.
My mind keeps coming back to a tough verse in the Bible I had to brush up on before the Maze last year. It concerns Jesus teaching on suffering.
"Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.""
In the ancient world, people often thought that disaster only came upon people who had offended God in some way. There was a belief that whatever your circumstances, you always got what was coming to you. This isn't what Jesus preached.
Jesus isn't saying that bad things only happen to bad people, he's not judging the people who have suffered. He's actually saying something quite different indeed. He's pointing out that the apparent random suffering in life (unfair as it often can be), ISN'T necessarily a reflection of anything we have done, BUT it should make us take our future lives seriously, and use the time we have wisely, while we still have it. It doesn't matter that before we weren't right with God... what's important is that we make sure we are right with him from this day forwards.
We don't know when our time is up. We have to make sure we know God more than him just being our maker. We have to know him as friend and saviour. We have to make the most of every opportunity. Living our life to the full (which includes having fun wherever possible, in the context of what God's OK with).
Similarly, don't make the mistake that I am judging Nicky, I'm not. I had a lot of respect for him as a person, and I shall miss not seeing him around town... as it stands i can't quite believe he's gone!

No, it's not my place to judge anyone, so I am not so foolish as to pronounce a theory on his fate. I prayed for him last night, and hope even now that the light he received in life was enough to welcome him into heavenly hands.
May God be with you all.
N

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