Contemplations

I think a lot. In fact, there are people who’d say that it’s possible I think too much. The thing is, there are so many things to think about, and so many things to discover and learn about.

I hear something, so I look it up, and then I look up a bit more, and then I read a variety of stuff, and then I think about it. Of course I don’t think about everything deeply – as you can imagine, contemplating the deeper meanings of ice-cream are not really that important. Although it is rather nice….

As a child, I’d think about things I’d read quite a lot, and because I was reading constantly, I thought about stories and books and the characters inside them quite a lot of the time. As I grew older, into my teen years, I began to think about moral and philosophical issues, contemplated the odd political thing occasionally, and definitely thought about what was going on in the wider world.

Now, I tend to think about politics, science, world events, religious philosophy, and personal and corporate morality. I know. Lots of stuff. If either of my kids ever read this, they’ll probably both roll their eyes and then laugh.

Perhaps it’s a personality trait, this thing where I can’t help wondering about how it all works, why people think the things they do, and why I need to be able to understand, or at least think I understand what’s going on.

Having said that, it’s a useful trait. Sometimes stuff happens, and because I’ve thought about stuff, sometimes I have an answer, or a way to get around what’s going on. Sometimes the stuff I know is absolutely useless – surplus to requirements, you might say. But still, I can’t help looking just one more thing up, or reading someone else’s opinion.

Today I went to the funeral of one of our older church ladies. She was one of the first women I met at church when we moved to town, and always went out of her way to say hello and smile. She served our church faithfully for forty-seven years, and in particular, set communion up each month without fail. (I go to a Baptist church, so communion is a monthly rather than a weekly thing.)

As I thought about Barbara, I was reminded that people who serve (communities, churches, community groups, friends) quietly, but with complete reliability, are few and far between in our lives. Today I could almost see her bustling around inside the church building, setting up the communion table, making sure that the perfectly ironed tablecloth was set precisely on the table, and that the net cloth was placed carefully over the top of the bread and cups.

It was a lovely funeral – sad as all funerals are, but also joyous – because Barbara lived her life well, and as I sit here, and think about our shared faith, is now in a place where there is no sadness, but only joy.

I’ll think again tonight, and I’ll think about a lot of stuff, but mostly I’ll think of that.

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