Teen girl in court after she tried to buy bread from Swindon Morrisons.
This headline – from yesterday’s Swindon Advertiser caught my eye – as, no doubt, it was intended to do.
At first glance it seems either improbable or unfair. To the best of my reasonable knowledge and belief, bread is neither dangerous nor banned but something we rely on every day.
You can buy it at any age and it’s not an under the counter commodity (not even the seedy versions) but a staple of our diet. Give us our daily …. and all that.
It’s a surprise then to learn that trying to buy it can land you in court. Well, it can in this case.
Reading the article rather than the headline, reveals that it’s not the bread that’s the problem but the location. Well, I suppose if your allegiance is towards another major brand (no names, no pack drill) you might think that’s the kind of thing you’d expect of Morrisons. Not the case. Is it West Swindon that’s the issue? Well, sort of.
It turns out that neither the bread nor the shop are the real concern. The young lady in question can’t buy bread (or anything else for that matter) from West Swindon. She’s banned under a court order from the area, no doubt for very good reasons that the article couldn’t go into given her age. What looked like a case of justice gone wrong, had a perfectly plausible explanation once the facts were clearly stated. .
It struck me that we need to be very careful: not everything is what we believe it to be at first impression nor should we necessarily believe every word that falls from a Politician’s lips. We’re a little more aware these days of what “fake news” is all about as well as the rather devious phrase “a good day to bury bad news.” Consumer programmes make us aware of financial and other scams. No doubt, there’s a very big story to be told one day – perhaps with the benefit of hindsight – about the real issues around Covid 19, not least the concerns about PPE.
There’s lots of guidance in the Bible about “Wisdom:” a good place to start is the book of Proverbs followed by a deep delve into the words of that world weary philosopher, Ecclesiastes. In its most basic definition wisdom is the ability to be able to look at the world, to examine what we are presented with and then to work out what’s right and what’s wrong: God’s way versus any old way.
It’s not a talent associated with some kind of spiritual elite – it’s what we’re all invited to grow into. Jesus invited his friends to understand the signs of the times – they began, as it were, by understanding the natural world such as it affected their lives and livelihoods (Matthew 16 verses 2 to 3).
Wisdom always has a point of reference. We are especially told not to be wise in our own eyes but to depend wholly on God
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil. (Proverbs 3 verses 5 to 7)
Wise approaches to the world lead to wise choices. At a time when we may find it hard to distinguish between fake, incomplete or accurate reporting, the news that God brings provide the best and most enduring headlines of all. He promised Good News to all people (Luke 2 verse 10) and it’s true: He’s sent Jesus into the world to deal with our sin and He’s given us His Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth (that is, to help us to be wise – John 16 verse 13).
Whatever our circumstances, when we see the world through His eyes it changes our perspective entirely and puts us into the heart of the need, even if it feels like the eye of the storm.
Trust God and walk the straight way.