I spent several hours this afternoon, as I have been for many recent Friday afternoons, volunteering at my church‘s ‘Tea Break’. It is a couple hours each week where the older members of the church meet over tea, biscuits and each other’s company. They have a very varied programme; from quizzes, to bingo, coach outings, guest speakers, arts and crafts – all sorts.
Today’s session came in parts. There was a brief quiz on America (I only got half marks), in honour of the first guest speaker, who is, as you may now guess, American. Although that may be a narrow definition, for he has an English wife and lives in India in Christian ministry. He gave the thought of the day, which sprang from a Bible verse saying that the Lord demands of us a sacrifice – a thankful heart. He was saying it is very hard to be thankful when we see bad things all around us. Of course, many wonderful things happen, but news outlets don’t often give that as much attention.
As the speaker is someone who has lived in Sudan, as well as India, he is all too aware that his Western listeners have much to be thankful for. Unfortunately, we don’t compare our lives with the billions in the world who really have life tough, but with other relatively lucky people around us – so we don’t realise how lucky we are and are not as thankful or happy as we perhaps should be.
We then heard from a second speaker, a younger member of the congregation, talking us through his photos from his family trip to Indonesia. It appeared a wonderful place – although the number of near-death experiences he had – due to rapid currents, monkeys and mopeds – put me off slightly.