The challenge of walking with the God who knows me  

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Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.

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Copyright © 2012 by Derek Leaf . Not to be copied for commercial purposes.  Permission is granted to copy the unaltered, attributed page for non commercial purposes.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Matthew 5_23-24

“If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to your brother;, then come and offer your gift.”

In my time working at STC, it seemed that I got on with most people very well.  There was however one engineer who seemed to have a problem with me.  I found this quite difficult.  He was an engineer who I greatly respected, he had excellent ideas and was able to bring them into reality.  It seemed though, that this Engineer always wanted to keep me at arms length.  We were working in a team and yet it was clear that my presence was not appreciated.  There was one time that I was working on a card in a rack of equipment.  I think that he saw this rack as being his domain and did not want me around, so he challenged me and asked me why I was not following the anti-static precautions.  These are precautions against zapping a chip with a static electric charge that a person would naturally have just from walking around.  The precautions would involve wearing a white coat and being connected to the rack by a wire from a strap on the wrist.  Now, since this rack was just a prototype, there were no anti-static precautions required.  I was uncertain however, and not wanting to cause offence, I backed off.  Later I checked with someone else.  I did this quietly without mentioning why in order to avoid embarrassment.  He verified that there were no precautions being undertaken.  So then, why had this engineer lied to me?

I sought God on the issue and I could think of some character issues that I am always plagued with. I have a tendency to speak very authoritatively when in fact I have no great authority.  It is just a way of speaking.  In fact my wife suggests that the less certain I am, then the more authoritatively I speak! Maybe it was something like this that was causing irritation.

Yet however much I might look to myself and my faults in all of this, the real resolution could only come by talking things through with this engineer.  Jesus has given us a ministry of reconciliation.  This is not just reconciliation between God and man, but also reconciliation between people.  My obligation was to seek reconciliation.  I began to think and pray about this.  Then one day, quite out of the blue the opportunity arose.  I went for lunch with a group of engineers, of whom this person was one.  At the end of the meal, the others all left and I was left with this one man.  It seems as clear as daylight to me now, that God was really concerned that I seek reconciliation.  He does after all say “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18 NIV)  Yet, I lost courage and allowed this unique opportunity to slide by.  It was a real shame, that God went to all that trouble to create the situation for me and I completely muffed it!  It is now one of those regrets of my past that cannot be revisited, the list of things that I should have said but ducked at the essential moment!  That is not to say that I was going to succeed, but there is a great deal of difference between trying and letting the opportunities slide by.