Friday, March 12, 2021

Hard Words







All photos courtesy of Unsplash

Do you remember the famous song from Mary Poppins: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? Many of us could say it or even sing it, but what about spelling it? That is easy; some would say, ‘I…T’! That is how I’d respond in my classroom, much to the dismay of an annoyed teenager! In the film, Mary Poppins even recites the word backwards, but that may be pushing it a bit too far for today. 
 
Over the years, I have met several people who get tongue-tied with words like ‘thief’, often pronounced ‘fith’ and ‘specific’, which is often confused with ‘Pacific’. That is without the real tongue twisters like ”She sells seashells on the seashore. The shells that she sells are seashells, I’m sure.”  
 
As a Welsh speaker, I am often asked to recite the name of a large village on Anglesey. Brace yourselves; it is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Having said it, I am then asked what it means. It is made up of a series of small words and translates as “St. Mary’s church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool of Llantysilio of the red cave.” 
 
My thoughts today are centred around this fact: ‘The hardest words are the easy ones’. I would like to consider three. They are ‘sorry’, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. The truth is that adults probably struggle more with these words than youngsters. 
 
To say ‘sorry’, in its simplest form, is to say ‘I was’ or ‘I am wrong.’ The fault is mine, and I am now admitting to that. It was not you. For some, saying sorry equals defeat, and they have to admit that they are not as perfect as they thought they were. Either way, it is not a word that we rush to say, is it? Sometimes, people are given the silent treatment, ‘sent to Coventry, ’ we say. Some say it with flowers; some say it with chocolates, and others say it with jewellery. Can I encourage you to say ‘sorry’ to anyone that might need to hear it from you…today. 

"Please" for youngsters is the magic word. I have a great-nephew of five who sometimes needs to be reminded to say the magic word. The prompt is, “What’s the magic word?” His answer always puts a smile on my face. It is not ‘please’ but, rather, “p-p-p-please”. I was brought up, like many others, to learn that good manners cost nothing but go a long way. 
 
‘Thank you’ is possibly one of the most underused phrases in the English language. In a class of 33, I can distribute folders or books and get very few ‘thank yous’. For me, it is another magic word. It shows appreciation and gratitude for something. To say grace at mealtimes shows appreciation for the food on our table. Let us not forget those who depend on Food Banks or those who, today, are starving and do not know when they will eat next or where their next meal will come from. 
 
The Christian message tells us that God sent Jesus to die for our sin, the wrong that we naturally do throughout life.  Today, God would love to hear you say “sorry” for the sin in your life. The next phrase would be “Please forgive me”. God is prepared to forgive you, unreservedly and without any cost. In response, He would love to hear you say “Thank you”. 
 
 I hope you agree that although these words seem very easy to say on the surface, they are sometimes tough. If you have never used them with God before, maybe today is the day that will change and shape the rest of your life.

Messages with Meaning (12/03/21)
Written by Nigel Binding for Your542Day
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