A View from St Kilda – September 2022

‘My teacher told me not to worry about spelling because in the future there will be an autocorrect. I am eternally grapefruit.’

Sorry about that!

Nobody is perfect but I do hate spelling mistakes. Perhaps it is due to my love of English, poetry, books and languages as a whole, but spelling errors annoy me. I am lucky, writing this very late article for the September Magazine that I have the editor in default position to check for faults! Mind you, no matter how often you read and re-read something you have written: a script, a letter, a sermon for a Sunday, only once it is in print do you discover the blunder.

I typed into the computer ‘the most common spelling mistakes’ and below are the results:

begining (beginning); beleive (believe); basicaly (basically) emphasising the rules of ‘double ‘n’ before the –ing; ‘i’ before ‘e’; and ends with –ally.

You probably could add in more, like parallel, conscience, particularly, questionnaire and the one that trips me up all the time is the word ‘rhythm’!

I sit with my mobile phone to reply to a text and my children look at me aghast that I am so slow and that I am typing every word and also adding punctuation. Recently, the comment was ‘Why are you putting your name at the bottom of the text, the person knows it is coming from you?’

I just can’t help it. Words should be spelt out correctly. Articles should be over-punctuated rather than avoiding them all together. There! That’s my opinion and I am sticking to it!

Sitting in my bookshelf there is a book on Communion by a Greek Orthodox Priest who, on the first page, starts the sentence and the full stop doesn’t appear until page 2! Now that is taking things to extremes!

Children nowadays, some might argue, cannot spell because their computer does it for them. I was thinking about this auto-correct function and I suppose it exists for us in our faith and life too. Isn’t Jesus like the auto-correct? The mistakes we make, the slip-ups that we encounter are taken to Jesus and made right.

Jesus asks us how often we should forgive, how often should we press the auto-correct button and let people start again. And even when a wrong is forgiven, we have no control over how another chooses to live their life from then on. Ultimately, we are only responsible for who we are and how we live. Everything begins with self, not in a selfish ‘I – am – more – important – than – everyone -else kind of way’ but with a healthy respecting attitude.

Love yourself. Let go what is causing you harm, even if it is the irritation of a spelling mistake or a mispronounced word or place name. Let go. If you don’t, endless harm might result, perhaps even greater than you imagine.

If you don’t love you, how can you understand that others do and God does too?

I hope you have had a lovely summer.

Every good thought for this new session as the Church tries some cost-cutting exercises and to auto-correct herself.

Your friend and minister