My remote control has needed new batteries for months. I know this because sometimes it refuses to turn over the tv until I hit it repeatedly. It then works for a few more days, maybe even weeks until it decides to remind me to put new batteries in it again and I hit it. Even when it’s working it takes two or three attempts to get the tv to react to it which often means that if I’m trying to get to channel ’28’ I end up switching between channel ‘2’ and ‘8’ until I manage to get both buttons to react at the same time.

You may ask why I didn’t just put new batteries in it months ago and I could say something like ‘I kept meaning to buy batteries but kept forgetting. They’re on my list. I will definitely buy some soon.’ And this would be a valid excuse. A forgetful person far too caught up in buying other things when I go to town that I totally forget to buy the much needed batteries. I know where I can get them from, I know I can get a whole bunch for a pound. They’re not expensive, I can afford new batteries. I’m just not actually desperate enough to buy them. One day my remote control would go totally dead and I’d wander round to the local shop and buy the expensive batteries rather than the cheap ones I can get in town.

However, I didn’t actually have that excuse. I have owned the correct batteries for as long as the remote control has needed batteries. I have had a vague idea of the location of the batteries. All I really needed to do was go and get the batteries but I didn’t even do that. You’re probably thinking that I must be incredibly lazy and I suppose I am.  I just thought that I didn’t really need the new batteries because, ok, so the remote had some difficulty but it was working. It did change the channel eventually.

Today, it finally totally died. So I put the new batteries in and I can hardly believe how simple changing a channel has become.

Sometimes, the remote control represents life. I know there is something broken, something not quite right, something that could be better or just needs new batteries and I know how to fix it, how to make it right but I’m comfortable with the broken thing. I justify it being in my life because everything is sort of working, things happen eventually. I know who I need to talk to to sort things out, what I need to do but I keep getting distracted and never actually do it. I’m not actually desperate enough to change the situation. I’ll just wait until the thing stops being fixable and starts being completely destroyed and then I’ll sort it out. Even though this is more expensive, sometimes in terms of money, sometimes in terms of time, sometimes in terms of the toll it has taken on my life.

Today, I have discovered how much better a remote control works with new batteries.

Jesus said that he had come to bring life to the world and not just the kind of life that sort of works if you hit it a bit, but life with new batteries, life that works to the max. Often, I think, even people who say they believe this live their life as if going to channel ‘2’ and ‘8’ was what they really wanted.



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