Below is a guest post by Steve, a member of my church, who writes a terrific little thoughtful piece that will make you think and have a chuckle at the same time. Enjoy.
Recently my Mum passed away after a short illness. She was a generous soul. The whole experience has triggered a number of thoughts, including her lived example and images of soft serve ice cream.
It’s a metaphor.
Soft serve ice cream is hardly a food, certainly not one that is healthy or that we need but on occasion it is okay to have as a treat. In fact I believe it is very good to do so, and one day we won’t be able to treat our loved ones because they have gone; either passed on, or just away.
In some ways my two children are smarter and, in some cases, even wiser than me (they must have had a good upbringing). I’ve had a tough time at work recently, actually over the last couple of years, and one of my children has repeatedly said to me that I should retire. True enough it would be good for my mental health. The reality is that it would mean quitting my job without an alternative source of income, which is not an ideal situation. Financially I am in an okay spot, and working keeps me in a good spot. However, my intention is not to store up riches upon riches as an end to itself but rather to prudently save. With enough extra for soft serve ice cream once in a while, of course. Neither extreme is good for me spiritually. To ask a rhetorical question – Why does God bless us with gifts, talents and finances if not to give them away?
The words of Jesus in Matthew 6:19-20 are helpful for me in this.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
Are there certain lessons which we only truly learn through age and personal experience? Even though it ends up being an expensive way to learn. Probably.
Of the times that I could have treated my children but didn’t for fear of spoiling them (and there were not many of those) I wish that I could go back and treat them ten times over. Perhaps this is also an impact of COVID lockdowns.
We have all lost a lot, not the least of which is time, which is difficult to replace. I get the impression from reading the gospels that Jesus was always in the moment, blessing as the occasions presented and required.
If I could have time with my Mum back what would I want to do?
Probably go out for a soft serve ice cream.