We have had an epic couple of weeks renovating the house in time for my daughter's christening which was held on Sunday. We joked that we were like contestants on The Block, racing to finish before we would be judged by family. Well, we made it - deck finished, sanded and stained. Pegoda finished. Sliding doors finished, and walls plastered. House rendered, but unfortunately not painted yet - that will happen in a month or so. We collapsed in a heap on the Saturday afternoon, and then I began the final clean to have the house in a reasonable state. And then I had to think about preparing food for 70 or so people. Easy with an irritable nine month old demanding attention. Needless to say I was up til midnight, and back up in the dark the next day to finish about ten tonnes of various salads, and put the final touches on the fab lolly bar we have been collecting sweets for over the weeks.
But enough of the tedious housework talk... a topic that had us talking at the party was the sermon from the Reverend during the Christening. My family are religious in a general way - that is, have been christened, or went to Sunday school and went to church as children, but do not attend church anymore. The Reverend had discussed with us the issue of growing a parish in this day and age and we sympathised - it's much like running a business isn't it? And a business that relies on people taking time out of their busy lives to give up a Sunday morning lie in! A very tough sell. So, upon hearing about our sizeable party attending church that Sunday, the Reverend must have given some consideration to his sermon in its appeal to his captive audience. He spoke of the fatigue that we are all feeling these days, the trials that weary us and make us constantly anxious. Job stress, taking care of elderly parents, grappling with cancer, losing superannunation in the GFC...the kind of things that touch all of our lives. And he reminded us that someone is there to give us a rest from this stress - he said, let God take a load off you. God is always here to give you some relief from the stress. I immediately thought of all the food waiting at home that needed to be prepped, worried that I hadn't made enough, hadn't bought enough wine, that it would rain, that people would notice the baby food stains on the carpet...would God relieve this stress?
We discussed the sermon at the party and all of us had thought of our various little stresses and thought of how tired life makes us, and we laughed when we all agreed that we wished God would step in and take off some of the load. And we discussed how strange it was to hear that sort of comforting talk, and agreed that it was that reassurance that someone was looking out for us that possibly made people continue to attend church even though it seems such an old fashioned institution in our lives today. We also agreed that our lives are so dictated now by change and flux, that the constancy of the church - or temple, or synagogue, or mosque - can be a comforting stalwart amongst this ebb and flow. Food for thought.
Anyway, I had made the goal in a previous post to be a cool, calm and collected host - well, I wasn't always entirely calm, but I think I was mostly collected. And the lolly bar was a massive hit among the young and old. And I didn't have to hope for a miracle for water to turn to wine - there was plenty left over, enough for a celebratory glass afer everyone went home. And that was comforting....