There is a radio show on the BBC called Desert Island Discs, its been running for 60+ years now. Guests are invited to imagine themselves cast away on a desert island, and to choose eight pieces of music, originally gramophone records, to take with them; discussion of their choices permits a review of their life.
Excerpts from their choices are played or, in the case of short pieces, the whole work. At the end of the program they choose the one piece they regard most highly. They are then asked which book they would take with them; they are automatically given the Complete Works of Shakespeare and either the Bible or another appropriate religious or philosophical work. Guests also choose one luxury, which must be inanimate and of no use in escaping the island or allowing communication from outside.
Anglesey during the winter slows right down, the islands pace becomes a gentle pulse. The elements take over the space vacated by holiday makers. So the desert island analogy isn’t far off the mark. The past few months have been a bit like that show, we have been trying to discern what are our necessities of faith. Taking a look at how we can walk closer to Yahshua,how we receive from Him and give out to others. Trying to simplify how we live our lives and how we walk out our relationship with Yahshua. Being faithful stewards of time and resources. Yahweh gave us a simple formula, Love Him and love people. And in our zeal we can over-complicate things and get out of sync with His direction and pace for our lives.
I like cooking, especially soups, big hearty concoctions that warm your bones. I can remember one occasion where I really went to town, lentils, onions, peppers, parsnips, greens, chorizo…the larder was making its way into the pot. I simmered it, tweaking the seasoning. It was ambrosia, and in a flash of “inspiration” my hand headed for the chili flakes. One “pinch” later-(I’ve got big old hands!) The soup was headed down Mexico way with its throat on fire. I tried to save it with a dash of sweet, and another, and another. But alas my savory magnum opus was beyond repair. My wife politely soldiered through a bowl, enduring the sweats and involuntary facial tic. My sons still speak in hushed tones of the super spicy soup. The lesson I learned that day, less is more. Simple pure ingredients respectfully combined produce the best results. Yahweh has given us all we need to simply follow. It takes time and patience to learn to let the ingredients speak for themselves.
So we’ve been looking at what we do and why we do it discerning is it necessary for loving Yahweh and loving people. Its been a real challenging time, we have had assumptions and attitudes challenged and our lives are taking a shape very different to what we are used to. The island we live on has afforded us time and space to take stock and hear His voice. With regard to assumptions, we naturally use the process of assumption to help cope with the seemingly endless choices we face daily. And within limits assumptions are useful, its pretty safe to say that the white liquid in the plastic carton in the fridge is milk, without undertaking chemical tests every time we take it out. But in matters of faith our assumptions require testing and discernment to check whether they are Biblically true. Tradition serves a purpose but only as far as its roots stand correct by scripture. This process has lead to our relationship with Yahshua taking new forms (or at least new to us). We have been confirmed in many decisions, (following The Lords feasts, keeping Sabbath) and challenged in others (the call of the city rears its head once more). But the times we live in are a shakedown, the things we may have taken for granted are continuing to be removed. It takes time, patience, and a generous measure of grace to let Yahweh do his work of simplifying the recipe of our lives.
And personally I’m trying to go easy on the chili…