I thought, for most of my life, that the word 'sin' meant, literally, 'wallowing in filth' or, frankly, worse. I was amazed to discover that the meaning is a term borrowed from the butts, and means, 'missing the mark' . Picture with me, an archer aiming for the circle at the centre of the target, and not hitting it. It's evident that when it's missed, it's missed, whether by a fraction of an inch, or a mile.
I find this comforting. To extend the metaphor, it seems to me, to make amends, all you have to do, is to sigh deeply, walk around picking up spent arrows for a bit, charge the quiver, and take aim once more.
There's no wallowing in mud, or drowning in self pity or holding oneself in a perpetual state of unforgiveness, stances I find some of my Faith Full friends in pretty much all the time. Do I not take 'sin' seriously then? I do, I really do. Not because I live my life by 'A Things To Don't List', but because doing harm to myself and others ( a good description of sin if you don't possess a bow and arrow) doesn't make me happy.
Shock. Horror. What an utterly selfish point of view! Yup. I have discovered that if I'm unhappy, I am more likely to head for the Things To Don't List and begin working on a few of the items in earnest. I will spare you the details, I might make you blush.
The Christ knew this.
'Love your neighbour as you love yourself.'
Give yourself a break, throw away the Things To Don't List and start picking up the arrows. Some times you'll hit the mark, sometimes you won't. So what?
I must still be thinking of what Charlie Chaplin didn't say on his seventieth birthday.