Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

I’m in an episode of Blackadder.

I’m in the episode Blackadder’s Christmas Carol - in the Prince Regent sequence.

Edmund (or whatever he was called at that point) emerges from the Regent’s chambers, closes the doors behind him, and has a quick exchange with Baldrick. In the audience, someone coughs. It’s me.

Actually, a lot of people coughed, because it was the final take of the evening, and our last chance to make sure we got heard.

Another thing I remember about that night was co-author Richard Curtis telling us about all the abandoned ideas they’d had for the Christmas special.

One plan had been to set it 10 years in the future in 1997 (ho ho) with Blackadder as a superhero. One of the other superheros was to be called “Alwayslate”, and his superpower was to be – you guessed it – that he was always late.

The final climactic scene was to feature Miranda Richardson as a villain holding everyone hostage, at which point Alwayslate would burst in with his heroic cry of "Sorry I’m Late!” and accidentally knock her unconscious with the door.

Anyway, ever since that evening with my oldest friend Alistair at TVC, I’ve been acutely aware that a great deal of my life runs late.

I basically can’t get anything done until there isn’t enough time left. I need deadlines. Quite frankly this blog entry is dated 22/09/2005, but I’m typing it on 12/03/2006, and expecting to post it in April. Of the same year.

It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s just that time doesn’t quite run in a straight line for me. I tend to look at today within the context of my whole life (conception to death), which means something that happened 20 years ago will often be more real to me than something that happened this morning.

I’m not alone. Recently I helped one of my friends - Bicentennial Man - to move house. It was the first time we’d spoken for over 10 years. I made no mention of this, and neither did he. After all, what difference did it make?

I think I have this attitude because when I say something, I always try to stick to my word. I try to keep my promises, even if it takes a long time to, and I expect others to as well.

Despite having been made 2,000 years ago, we still expect Jesus’ promises to be kept. The passage of time doesn’t make truth less true.

So this blog is 6 months behind – to me that’s the same as it being a week behind – I’ll catch up. Watch - I actually will.

So, does that make me a procrastinator, or just very patient? Is it actually my fault that everything in my life takes forever? (e.g. the films that I’ve spent over 15 years making)

Last July I returned to England to visit my family and friends for a month. This became 1½ months. Then that became 2 months. It’s now been 2½ months, and understandably we’ve all been wondering whether I’ll ever return to New Zealand.

You see, it’s a bit hard to get enthusiastic about doing anything, when your long-term recall proves that none of your plans have ever worked out.

Did God want me to get a computer? Because both my computers and every CD-ROM I have ever bought have, upon arriving home, not worked properly. Yes, even Norton Anti-virus.

Did God want me to get my computer/cameras/projectors repaired? Because everything that I have had repaired, has subsequently turned out not to have been. All of them - several times.

Does God want me to drive? Because so far, I have had to apply for my LEARNER’S licence THREE TIMES, despite having been SUCCESSFUL on each occasion.

And then yesterday, when I was sold flight tickets to New Zealand that today turned out to only be valid for 3 months – not 12. I don’t know who got it wrong, I just know that once again it was.

The most basic easy ordinary things that magically happen in most people’s lives become a mindlessly complex bureaucratic spiral in mine.

Oh I know, you feel that way too, in your house with your wife and your 2.4 kids and your job and your car.

How many dates have you been on?

Whenever I get along well with a girl, the same recognisable premeditated cruelty towards me always comes along and takes her over.

From my perspective, it’s all too extreme to be coincidence.

I feel as though my life is fought over. On the one hand God repeatedly comes through for me at the very last moment, but on the other, to get there is all so blasted impossible.

And we’re only talking about a child’s essentials here, like food, a roof and a very low income.

You can forget anything adult like a permanent job, a car or someone to love.

Must… stop… Steve… having… a… life...

But I also know that:

a) Our battle is against principalities and powers, not people, and

b) [God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross].

Colossians 2:15 Amplified Bible

So if bureaucracy is trying to drive me away from New Zealand, then I guess that’s the direction I should head in.

After all, the alternative is to give up New Zealand, my computer, my film-making, my driving, and all the other basic yet impossible things that I haven't listed here, and do nothing ever.

Instead, I think I'll trust God, press on and try to be a bit more patient.

PS. Today I also bought 2 DVDs… they both failed to play, for different people, on different machines, in different ways. (one of them actually broke the player)(and yes, they were 2 different releases…) But we'll find a way!


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