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Is it worth the paper it’s written on?

Our lives seem to be filled with all sorts of documents, especially here in Spain. Papers for this and papers for that and I don’t know about you, but when we first arrived here on the Costa Calida, we were so naïve and signed stuff in the hope that it was for what we were being told it was for We were in a position, with the language difficulties, of having to trust people to be truthful with us. Their adverts and papers told us about the work that they did, but it was going to be experience that would in the end tell us how good they were at doing the job; we got burnt a little, but generally all turned out well in the end.

A few weeks ago I answered a call from a lady who took me to task over whether I was an ordained minister and if I was, where was I ordained. Because I could not remember the name of the nearest town to where I was ordained [the name of the Christian Conference Centre where it happened was not good enough!], this dear lady took umbrage with me and called me an imposter and a charlatan!

As a pastor, I occasionally ruffle a few feathers, but this lady was really ruffled when I said that my ordination certificate was at the end of the day, just a piece of paper, and that my credentials as a pastor were to be seen in my life, and not what the document said I did. The lady did not give her name, did not know me, had never met me or visited Wellspring church, but she felt that she knew me well enough to ‘report me to the British Embassy.’

Can I explain my initial statement this way? When I was learning to drive, I needed someone to sit by me who had a full driving licence; my father had a full licence and got it for when he drove the tractors on the farms he worked on. The licence had his name and details on it, and it listed the classes of vehicles he was allowed to drive, one of them being a car. Well that seemed good enough for me and so we set off, even driving from Lichfield to London on ‘L’ plates to see family on one occasion. Dad sat by my side for months as I had lessons and learned to drive correctly… there were only a few problems with our little arrangement. One of the problems was that my Dad had never driven a car in his life, and another whopping problem was that he was also blind and deaf. What on earth would have happened if I had been unable to continue driving, while on one of our excursions? My Father had a document which said that he could drive a car, but it wasn’t worth the paper it was written on… even though it was legal.

Today, I saw something that frightened me to the core. As I was driving towards Mazarrón and passing Condado de Alhama, I saw a car on the other carriageway, facing Alhama, and trying to do a three point turn in the road. The driver intended to go back the wrong way up the motorway, [I think he had missed his turning into Condado], and bearing down on him was an articulated lorry! Flashing my headlights and waving madly to the car driver, I tried to warn him that what he was doing was not a good idea and fortunately things turned out ok in the end. I imagine that the gentleman had a driving license, insurance and all other documents in order to drive his vehicle but it was up to him to drive in a safe manner, for his sake, and the sake of other road users.

There is one document which is very important to have our name written on and this document is one we cannot see, but it describes us perfectly. The Bible calls it the ‘Lambs Book of Life’ and in it are written the names of all who have received Jesus into their lives and guarantees us that one day He will receive us to Himself.

Find out more about this important book at Wellspring Victory Church.