We went to the local Presbyterian Church again this morning. It is so small it cannot have a regular minister so has a different visiting speaker each week. We were not impressed with this week's speaker the last time he came, and nearly decided to try out a Methodist Church in town. But loyalty to the people in the local parish prevailed and we went to the local church. I was so angry. The sort of drifting through the service, the meaningless prattle and the whole manner of presentation felt like blasphemy. At one point I nearly walked out. I did not know where to look, I am sure my feelings were written all over my face. I generally try to attend well to the speaker, to give unspoken support and encouragement. But this time I gave up, and spent much of the service looking at the floor. We decided not to go to the cup of tea afterward, we felt so angry that we wondered if we could be civil if the speaker came and made small talk.
We went to the cafe in the Forsyth Barr Stadium to get a coffee and debrief.... bad idea... I have never had to wait so long for a coffee. I think they forgot our order. People who had ordered after us were receiving theirs. This did not help our mood. My wife who tends to be more assertive than I was furious and this was not helped by the attitude of the waitress. (On reflection they may have had new student staff members learning the ropes) We went back to the car parked in a virtually empty stadium car park. We had a $65 parking ticket under the windscreen wipers! Since in town parking is not monitored on Sundays we had assumed the same situation for the stadium park.... Wilsons Car Parks will gain, we rue our very slow and now very expensive coffee. The amount we ratepayers are having to fork out for that stadium and its losses, we ought to be given a cup of coffee!
Lunch time ... The power of friendship expressed.
We proceeded to the supermarket to do shopping. There we bumped into two Indian friends from our old Church. They were so pleased to see us and she said, "Come home for lunch Pastor!" She was so insistent that we decided to go. They gave us warm impromptu hospitality, stacks of food and love, it made us forget the morning.
After that I went for a walk with my friend. We both did not feel like running because there was a cool wind blowing. By the end of the afternoon my negative thoughts about Church, the long wait for coffee and the $65 fine were all gone. Replaced by a feeling of warm companionship in the journey of life. Certainly a day of two halves.
Tonight I packed my bags in preparation for my hospital stay and the surgery. Life will have to go on hold for now.