50 shades of… white.

A few years back you could buy paint in a range of colours, but there was only ever one white and that was brilliant!

Then a well known paint company – famous for its old English sheep dog – brought out four new whites with names like barley white and apple white.

Looking on their website today a search for white resulted in a display of exactly 50 different shades of white.

When I was younger, many things were either right or wrong, black or white and the only shades of grey were battleship and elephant.

These days things are not so clear cut, perhaps in part due to our “post modern society”, where everyone can have a valid opinion and almost nothing is actually wrong, it’s just another view.
I would like to think that the truth is that I am not just older but also a little wiser – not only do I know more than before, I also know how much I do not know.

The awareness that there is much more to know means that there are more wonders and amazing things to discover and experience. This is exciting!

This also means that things I was certain of before I am less certain of now.
Yes there are core truths and values which I consider to be unchangeable – such as the eternal truths of salvation through faith.

Then there are the other things I learnt on the way, usually repeated from a pulpit, that are less convincing when subjected the rigour of research, analysis and common sense.

We used to hear sayings such as “Doctor knows best”, “Carrots help you see in the dark” and “Science says bumble bees cannot fly”.
However the UK’s worst serial killer was a doctor, eating carrots was wartime propaganda to hide the use of radar and a misquote about bees from 1930 still turns up as a sermon illustration.

Today there are people fully convinced that they are right and that others are therefore wrong. However they are not prepared to discuss or debate things – perhaps afraid there may be another side to the truth they missed.

The recent copy of Sorted (great read by the way) came with a leaflet to give away – OMG. This contains a quote by Edward DeBono

“If you never change your mind, what’s the point in having one?”

It is ok to ask questions and to change your mind.

The key thoughts I want to leave you with are:

  1. Your loving someone does not mean you condone or affirm their life choices. Compassion, grace and love are way more important than being absolutely right.
  2. Often our choices are not between right and wrong but between several right choices.
  3. Exciting news – there are always new things to discover and learn.
  4. Be an old dog that can learn new tricks.
  5. God has blessed us with an infinite number of colours.