St Alf etc

Melbourne has seen very humid conditions for about a week now and it appears to be tiring people out. For the whole of the last week, we’ve crawled out of the office into high twenties temperatures and the tram rides into Spencer have been like trains in the sub-continent. Thankfully the tram rides are quick and I often hurriedly move on to the platform, waiting for the merciful cooling of the trains.

On Friday night as the sweltering rides home ended and we caught up with the Chews and Hippos in a local eating place, it was still warm and I felt the drained week.

Saturday morning the little man had his grooming appointment with Amber the mobile groomer, who often shows up on time. Tress and I took him for a quick walk before she arrived and within a couple of minutes after getting back home, just after 8am, I was picking him up to hand him over for his quarterly clip. Tress and I then ducked out to a local bakery, picked up some delicious pastries and a bread roll, and came home for breakfast before starting the day’s chores.

I washed both cars, inside and out, mowed the lawns, swept, edged and did whatever I could to tidy things up. Tress had, while I was washing the cars, done a truckload of weeding and the flowerbeds and footpaths looked terrific, which drove me to do more.

Tress left home close to 2pm to get to the UN orange giving day thing. It had to do with awareness of violence against women and girls and St Alf’s GFS folks organised the orange giving in a local shopping centre. After I got cleaned up I ducked into that shopping centre just to see how things were, but stayed only a short while before going back home to watch Steven Smith’s magnificent captain’s knock of 141 not out to cement Australia’s impending win to edge 1-0 ahead for this year’s Ashes series.

Tress came home closer to 4pm and a little while later we went out to get some dinner before settling down at home to watch something on Netflix (a forgettable “Security” with Antonio Banderas in the starring role).

We stayed behind after the service, for the AGM of St Alfs. It was encouraging at the local level but at the Melbourne wide or even Australia wide level, the outlook feels bleak. Hudson Taylor’s simple mantra comes to mind (God’s work done in God’s way will never lack) but one cannot help but wonder how a church in a postmodern society such as Australia will survive, especially against the onslaught by the secular, which is decidedly anti-church or anti-Christian.

We did some grocery shopping later that arvo, and I also picked up a pair of trainers to replace my old runners. I haven’t been running for a while now so I haven’t been fussed about replacing those runners but it must be getting close to 5 years now since I bought my present pair and I use it now mainly to do work in the garden or walk the little man.

Last night as I sat on the couch and thumbed my way through “The Melbourne Anglican” we picked up earlier in the day, I wondered if I would ever get involved again, to be more than just a regular attendant on Sundays. St Alf is part of an organisation which is so structured and often feels like a big, ageing institution. I’d rather be part of such an organisation than a smaller, independent one as such smaller set ups tend to be a free-for-all when it comes to good teaching. Those ICC days of weird teachings (which appear to be based on anything but the Scriptures) are days I intend to well and truly put behind us. Having said that, I’m in the third quarter – a period of time in one’s life where one has been around the traps enough to acknowledge that God surprises and He is beyond any mould I tend to cast, consciously or otherwise.