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Thought for the month by Terry Winrow: ‘Do Different’

Article posted on 1 November 2018 Leave a Comment

Healthy living in the heavens!

On a recent holiday flight to Norway, I had booked an in-flight meal. It was a holiday so may as well live it up! Having been up early for the flight and walking the equivalent of a half marathon to get to the gate at Heathrow, I was well and truly looking forward to a relaxing flight with a hearty meal, a glass of wine and a good book, followed by an undisturbed (some chance!) snooze at 36,000 feet.

Comfortably settled, the meal arrived, beautifully presented in a box and thoughtfully accompanied with the following menu.

Lightly smoked chicken breast from Bjare with beetroot flavoured crushed wheat, lentils and black beans from Oland, beetroot cream and pickled yellow beets.

Served with browned goats cheese sprinkles from Skarvangens Bymejeri and Bee urban honey from Stockholm’s rooftops.


Mmm I thought.

Now that’s not the mmm of ‘sounds lovely’. More the mmm of what do I make of this! Let me think. Will I enjoy this? Should I make an attempt at eating it or smile sweetly at the stewardess with the comment ‘I’ve already eaten thank you. But perhaps I’ll keep the bread roll for later’?

Chicken – no problem, but where’s the stuffing from Paxo, not to mention the sprouts from Brussels and the spuds from Tesco? Served with a sauce from Oxo topped with sprinkles from Cerebos!

This is very different.

All that was missing was the exercise of scavenging in the countryside to pick the ingredients myself. But I thought, someone has given this a lot of thought and perhaps I should eat more healthily. Surely to goodness it must be good to eat.

Recalling the early start and the half marathon just to get to this point, my hunger compelled me to look beyond the words and enjoy the experience.

It was really nice. Very different………….., but nice.

(Oh, and before you ask, there was no pudding with custard!)

Food is one of those things in life we get used to what we are used to I suppose; where our horizons stay firmly anchored to our preferred reality; where we are cautious to venture into new territory, new experiences. We stick to the words we know, because we are comfortable with what they taste like.

As an aside, the first Vice Chancellor of the University of East Anglia got a surprise, I guess, when he asked the first students in the 1960’s for a motto. Probably expecting something deeply profound in Latin, they unexpectedly came up with;

‘Do Different’.

What a brilliant motto. Always current, always relevant, always moving into a new future. It is still their motto.

Do different.

In many respects, Christianity invites the same approach. Do different, be different.

Instead of following the prevailing culture of looking after oneself alone, we look to bring about the common good. Instead of promoting a separatist philosophy of the individual, we seek to promote community. Instead of protecting ourselves with the cloak of faith in science and the supremacy of individual opinion, we seek to understand the world from a different perspective. We do different.

There is wonderful wisdom in Psalm 34 verse 8,’Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed are those who take refuge in him’

What interesting phrases to use about belief. Taste, see, take refuge. All of these are about an experience. It’s not about any academic understanding but an invite to ‘do different’.

Many of us struggle at some point with understanding what the Bible, especially the Old Testament, has to teach us. But always, faith is about a relationship. So, like a healthy meal at 36,000 feet, the answer may well be to look beyond the words and enjoy the experience!



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