Learning through Life

My photo
Hampshire, United Kingdom
I love how our day-to-day life can teach us lessons to help us understand our past, challenge our today, and inspire our future. We can learn through experiences, situations, conversations, songs, books, nature ... the list is endless! Live with eyes ready to see, ears ready to hear and a heart ready to be touched.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The one with the Big Lunch invite

On June 5th people everywhere ignored the cold and rainy weather and took part in The Big Lunch.

'The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project. The aim is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.' 

As I love the idea of communities getting together I worked hard at organising and running a Big Lunch for Wessex.  I signed up on The Big Lunch website, had the promotional merchandise sent to me, and explained to the rest of the church what it was all about.  Lots of people thought it was a good idea, and many offered to help in different ways.  I loved that so many people were coming together as part of this community initiative. 

Just over a week before the big event, a team of people from Wessex gathered together to post around 300 Big Lunch leaflets through the doors of the houses in the local community.  After all, The Big Lunch is about communities, and although the church has its own community of believers, this event was for everyone - especially those who reside in the locality of the church. 

Leaflets were also given out to members of various groups within Wessex, including Twinkling Stars Toddler Group and Youth. 

So - many people received invitations to attend this amazing event - that included a free lunch, craft, bouncy castle, music and much more.  So much to get excited about.  What an opportunity! 

Sunday 5th soon arrived and people bustled about preparing for the Big Lunch.  The bouncy castle was put in place, people arrived with plates of food, and the Welcome Team were ready to welcome the crowds of visitors we were expecting. 

We were ready!!

But ... hardly anyone came.

It is true.  Whilst a lot of our regular congregation attended, and a few of them brought friends - the footfall from all the advertising and leaflet drops amounted to ONE FAMILY.  The 300 + leaflets that were delivered and handed out must have soon found their way to the bin. 

The one family that did turn up came through an invitation to twenty or so parents / carers at Twinkling Stars Toddler Group.  No one came from the leaflet drop. 

The following week at Twinkling Stars, I thanked the lady for turning up with her family.  She said she had really enjoyed it, which was great to hear.  We chatted about the weather on the day, the food, the craft her daughter enjoyed, and then she said something that got me thinking ...

She said ...'It must have been really disheartening for you that no-one else came from Twinkling Stars?'

For a short time I was unable to answer.  I had to process what had been said, and my reaction to it.

You see, I could have followed her lead down the road to disappointment and disheartenment, and wallowed in self-pity at all the work I had put in, and the lack of response and commitment to it.

But - nothing could be further than the truth. 

Because, the simple fact of the matter was that it had been GREAT to see that one family there.  Sure, it would have been nice to see a few others at The Big Lunch, but I experienced just as much joy and encouragement to see the one, than I think I would have done to see the crowds.

As I shared this thought with the lady, I could sense that she was genuinely touched that I felt that way.  She did matter.  She did make a difference.  And her attendance at the Big Lunch had made my day.

Sadly, I think society can often make us feel invisible and insignificant.  We can feel as though we blend into a bigger and brighter background; that our individual colour doesn't really show amongst the vibrancy of colours on the palette. 

But, this isn't how Jesus views us.  He sees and celebrates our individuality.  We matter to him.  He loves us!

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  (Luke 15:3-6)

Jesus cares about the one lost sheep so much so that he leaves the other sheep to search for it.  If that individual sheep didn't matter, he wouldn't have left the others to find it.

Although this verse speaks about how we have all been 'lost' - wandering around on our own without God - it also demonstrates the importance placed on our lives as individuals.  We are each loved by God.  We are not insignificant and we do not blend into the background. 

We all need reminding of this at times. 

If you are feeling 'lost' - then know that there is a God who loves you and is looking for you right now.  

If you are feeling lonely - know that there is a God who has promised never to leave you.

And if you are feeling insignificant - know that God loved you so much that he sent his Son to die for you!

We should never just feel part of the crowd - and we should never see others that way either.  We must always remember how important people are to God, and treat them accordingly.  We should love as we are loved.

1 comment:

  1. the easy inescapable reality was that it had been GREAT to see that one household there. Sure, it would have been awesome to see a few others at The Big Lunchtime, but I knowledgeable just as much joy and motivation to see the one, than I think I would have done to see the packed areas of people.


What do you think? I would love to read your thoughts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...