I think that one of the ways that God is trying to develop patience in me is through ketchup sachets. I have fairly poor fine motor skills and so I really struggle to open them. Over the years I have looked closely at the bit you are supposed to tear trying to find any signs of weakness and I am convinced that Heinz is putting the tear here line in a spot that is the same as the rest of the packaging!
We were staying in a hotel recently and half way through breakfast my daughter asked why the Ketchup sachets had numbers on? After all my years of battling with the sachets I had never noticed the numbers before and so I looked and there they were. In every corner next to the tear here line was a number. On our table we had most numbers between 1 and 9 and several number 5’s.
I have asked several people since what these numbers mean and the best explanation so far is the number is to do with which production line they have come off. Any better explanations? Perhaps, on a scale of 1-9 how hard is this sachet to open?
I was so busy eating my breakfast that I had missed the numbers. My daughter was enjoying her breakfast too but as a curious 5 year old she was observing what was happening.
This made me think of how we can stumble through life without stopping to consider what is really happening. I’ve had a busy few weeks and sadly the busier I get the less likely I am to be looking for and led by God’s presence in my everyday life as I try to cope and survive. Doubly sadly (did I just make up a new phrase?) it is at these times of trying to cope that I really need to look to God even more. It’s one of those vicious circle things and really the best thing we can do is to stop regularly and call on God and then listen to and be led by him.
One of the mums at our toddler group was telling me about a meditation group that she used to go to where they taught her how breathing techniques and also about Chakra points. This conversation inspired me in my busyness to remember that the Bible says,
Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46.10)
In our conversation amongst the noise of children playing and the smell of pooey nappies I was reminded of the importance of stillness and space. Amongst the chaos I was reminded to stop, look for and to listen to God.
In our conversation I went on to agree that we needed to be still but that we also needed to be careful about what was filling us up. New age religions and things like Chakra points really worry me but I am excited that the God who loves me wants to fill me up and to empower me. The God who wants what is best for us wants to lead and to be a part of our lives which must be better than some kind of mystical force. If you don’t believe me, watch one on the old Star Trek episodes and when they beam down to a planet see how one of the people in red shirts get on when they meet a mysterious spiritual force.
It’s ironic that a conversation about new age meditation reminded me of how important it is to stop and to reconnect with God but that is what happened.
May we all pay attention to God.