After many days and hours of interviews and filming I was a wee bit sad when they only used two short clips amounting to about 25 seconds on tonight’s John Bishop’s Britain. Of course they might use more in future episodes… self indulgent sigh! But then it occurred to me, if these 25 seconds provided a laugh that cheered folk up and encouraged tourists to check out Scotland’s deep-fried pizza, our other national dish and you multiply the laughs and the deep-fried pizzas by who knows how many million viewers tonight, then on BBC iPlayer throughout the week, then on the replay next Friday and then the repeats… that is a lot more than just 25 seconds! That is a combination of millions and millions of seconds.
A few days ago I was talking to a great young singer who became a Christian in the church where I was pastor almost twenty years ago. She could clearly recall the altar call of the guest speakers I’d brought over from America and the few seconds that were to transform both her life and the lives of everyone she would ever interact with from then on. She has a unique call and is becoming influential in the music scene, who knows how many millions she will touch, or indeed has already. Like me, those guest ministers probably wonder what is the result of all their preparation and trial, they will have no clue of the results of their words, words edited by God. More frighteningly though she could even quote my sermons from long before she hit her teens. Every second counts!
If Jesus took a loaf of bread and some fish to feed thousands, how much more can he do with a few selected seconds here and a few seconds there? Aunty Beeb edits and you just never know what she will scrub and what she will use. Just 25 seconds after days, weeks and hours of work by a whole team is normal for the BBC. Same is so with God, he is the editor, not us. It is our job to prepare as best we can and scatter the seed, but it is him we must trust to do the editing. So what if he only uses seconds of your week to touch someone’s life, if those seconds are the seconds that are significant, then those are the seconds that count!
Now I’m not for a second claiming any deep spiritual significance about my comments on deep-fried pizzas and choc’ ice with chips, but there is significance in realising that just as there is a producer for each BBC show that knows what he or she wants to achieve there is also a God who knows exactly what to throw away and what to use as well. Some of our peals of wisdom may wind up on God’s editing suite floor, but if God only uses 25 seconds of our hours and weeks of service to touch someone’s life we should not sigh or despair, for he can do more with that 25 seconds than you could ever know.
Funny how TV makes you look fat!