Wednesday, 25 March 2009


Today I'm using the shredder. In fact, I'm writing the blog while the machine is recovering so that I can fill yet another bag with shredded paper. There is something therapeutic about shredding things, getting rid of rubbish and tidying up! It's a bit like pruning bushes in the garden - there is a sense of satisfaction! What does that say about my character? Don't answer that! Annie Lennox and Eva Cassidy playing on the PC in the background - what a way to spend an afternoon!

Maybe Lent is a good time to shred!

There has been a sort of corporate shredding going on in our society of late. The whole economic crisis has challenged our sense of value. As a culture, we have valued wealth, possessions and prosperity. These have been our gods, the values we have idolised. Those who are wealthy and prosperous - these are the people to whom we have looked up; we have wanted them to be our leaders and role models. But a bubble has burst! Mind, we have gone too far in some respects - no matter how foolish he has been, we go too far when Fred Goodwin's children are not safe at school and his house is vandalised.

Shredding is a very negative action. All I'm doing is getting rid of stuff. All I'm doing is emptying a box so that it can get filled up with the next lot of stuff to be shredded.

Maybe Lent is a good time to shred! In the time before Easter, some Christian traditions have taken time to contemplate their weaknesses and sins, so that we have a better appreciation of what Jesus did on the cross. "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." (Psalm 51:17) One thing is certainly true of all of us: we have things about us as people, attitudes, habits, actions that need to be shredded, put off, consigned to the bin. These are the attitudes of which we are not proud, the words we regret, the actions we wish we had never done, the things over which we wish we could turn the clock back! We all have them. Shred them.

What to put in their place? Learn to be like Christ! "Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 13:14) Jesus teaches us a whole new world-view, a positive set of values and attitudes; copy Him! Don't let people persuade you that Christianity is simply about what you're not allowed to do! Jesus gives us a whole new set of values and a whole new way to live.

Happy shredding!