At the time of writing this article, the 2018 football World Cup is being staged in Russia. But one of my abiding memories of previous World Cups was the “Italia 90” tournament.
The reason for that is because I passed my driving test at the first time of trying. I managed this on the Monday morning after the final. The previous night saw Germany beat Argentina 1-0, with an 85th minute penalty by Andreas Brehme separating the sides. Unfortunately, that final is hardly remembered by football lovers as a classic!
I remember being full of nerves on that Monday morning when the examiner got into the passenger seat beside me. We were at the Dill Road test centre in the Castlereagh area of Belfast. As we drove off, I managed to clip a kerb on the way out of the centre! My heart sunk and the thought “That’s it, I have failed before I started!” made me feel sick and stupid!
“How did I manage to do that? I asked myself. Anyway, the test lasted about an hour and I remember coming back into the centre expecting to hear the inevitable news that I had failed and needed to book a retest.
To my shock and horror, the examiner announced “Congratulations, you have passed your driving test!” After a few seconds of elation and digesting what he said, I reminded the examiner of my mishap at the beginning.
I will never forget what the gentleman said next to me. “You made a mistake at the beginning, but you drove impeccably after that and didn’t hit another kerb during the test. We do not fail you for making a mistake, we fail you for not correcting your mistake, which was what you did. Well done!”
What a lesson that was and it has stuck with me for 28 years!
This reminded me of a verse found in 1 John Ch 1 v 9. “If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Living in an imperfect world and born with a sinful nature, there are certainly no perfect human beings. Maybe if we could, we would love to turn the clock back and correct the mistakes we have made previously in our past.
The good news is that there is a God who loves us more than we know and is a God of forgiveness. Isaiah Ch 43 v 25 reminds us “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”
As our schools leave for their summer break, many pupils value the use of a rubber, Tipp-ex or the delete button on a computer to help erase and correct a mistake made during schoolwork. Spiritually speaking, I am so thankful that through the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ that a way was made for everyone of us to experience the forgiveness of sins and to know the ‘Corrector of Mistakes” in a personal way.