This morning I nearly tripped over the food mixer as I crossed the bedroom floor. And you may well ask, “what is a food mixer doing in the bedroom?”. Well, in our house at the moment we’ve got plates, bowls, cutlery, pots and pans, plastic food boxes, appliances, tea towels and J Cloths distributed all over the house. The reason? Well, after months of planning and discussion over colours and styles, we’re having a new kitchen. A new kitchen will be fine, but unfortunately we first have to put up with the immense disruption of the old kitchen being removed. Yesterday was all the bashing and crashing as age-old units were ripped from their moorings, and this morning the kitchen, that centre of the household, is bare. We’re now finding new homes for all the long lost things which were found down the back of the old units. (‘Oh, that’s where it got to!’)
We’re putting up with this upheaval with quite a bit of grace and good humour. It’s rather like camping, really. And we’ll be eating out a lot, which is always nice. For Noodles, on the other hand, it’s a different story. Noodles is our cat. He normally dines in the kitchen. His confusion on the first day of having to eat in the junk room was evident. Now his distain at the whole business is plain for all to see. In the morning he comes in, has his breakfast, and leaves for the familiarity of the garden as soon as the last mouthful is down. For Noodles, this change of his domestic arrangements could go on forever, and he’s not happy.
For us, of course, it’s a bit different. Disruptive, yes. A bit annoying at times, yes. But we know it’s not going to last. We can see past the next meal. We know that in a couple of weeks, not only will we be back to “normal”, but we will have a shiny new kitchen with all sorts of space age gadgets. It will be a joy.
Nothing lasts forever. In life, and in work, we may go through dark periods where life is tough. The demands made upon us, that irritating colleague, the expectation, the sheer workload. In life, bereavement, ill-health and family difficulties may all seem to come at us like a flood, but the Bible is full of encouragements to trust in the One who wants the best for us, to give us “a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29, verse 11). Psalm 30 verse 5 says “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
The man with the drill has arrived, time for a cup of tea. Where did we put the kettle?
Patrick Woodward is a trustee of the Church and Media Network