Thursday, 5 November 2009

Food and Shelter

I wrote a piece earlier in the week which reflected on my sense that I live a very privileged life. I truly hope that I will never take this for granted.

Part of my privilege is in having a pleasant retirement at aged 65.   

My dad never got to retire; he died when he was 63 years old.  

 For billions of the world’s citizens the word “retirement” has no context and therefore no meaning.

So I am called to be grateful.  But gratitude without subsequent action is hollow.  That’s why the Church places such emphasis in her teaching to Christians regarding stewardship and justice.

As a good old prayer from the Book of Common Prayer puts it, we ask that we shall show forth God’s praise (gratitude) not only with our lips, but in our lives (stewardship and justice).

I’ve had a wonderful time today.  Using the privilege of free time in retirement I drove two friends to the excellent Museum of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg.  After our enjoyment of the Museum the three of us ate an excellent restaurant lunch.

The food was good. And we were seated outside, enjoying the lovely balmy weather which is our lot in South- West Florida at this time of year. 

It has indeed been a day of privilege. I am happy and grateful.

Years ago I heard of a monk who, whenever prayer was offered, would give thanks for “food and shelter”.  I’ve tried to do the same when the prayers in Church have allowed for extempore petitions.

I believe that just about every person who reads this blog is one who lives with abundant food, and good shelter.  We did not earn this.  It was the “luck of the draw” of our place of birth and family life which meant that we never went hungry or homeless.  We are grateful.

I pray that our gratitude will lead us to good stewardship, and that our good stewardship will move us to a passion for justice for all people.

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