8th May 2014

The Custard Constant 

“…or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering [of God], not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?”
Romans 2:4 (NKJV) 

Did you know that The Economist annually compares currency values around the globe? It doesn’t use exchange rates or tricky tables of comparisons, it uses the cost of a Macdonald burger in local currencies. Since Macdonald burgers are pretty well standardised around the world, what one costs in this country is a pretty good comparison in real currency value terms with what it costs somewhere else. 

I think we can do something similar with history and how our society has changed in attitude and expectations. I call it the custard constant. 

When my grandmother reigned in her household, she had servants including a cook, but she always made her own custard. All natural ingredients based around eggs, chilled full-cream milk and a vanilla pod; it took her all morning to make. 

Come forward a generation, and my mother’s custard came out of a tin. Mix the powder with a little cold milk to form a thick paste, then pour on boiling milk. Stir and, if you’ve done it properly, there should be no lumps and it turns into the thick, creamy yellow custard beloved of my youth. It took about 15 minutes, I suppose, because you had to carefully bring the milk to the boil. 

Then came sachets of custard powder. It looked the same, and the end result tasted the same, but you only added boiling water; there was no milk. How long to boil a kettle? 

And finally, today you buy custard, ready-made in pots. When required, take off the lid and put the pot in the microwave for 30 or 40 seconds. Stand for a few seconds more, and then pour. 

These days our daily lives seem to telescope in every direction. Instant custard is only symptomatic of all the other ‘instants’ we experience—instant news, instant foods of all kinds, instant entertainment, instant information and instant contact with anyone and everyone. 

It all affects us, probably more than we actually realise. Many also look for instant religion, instant Christianity, in exactly the same way. But we need time, experience and the quiet discipline of regular practices in our personal religion to grow into what we will need as Christians for the long-term, to be of the maximum use for our returning Elder Brother. 

For those who have lived long in a church, God has been very merciful. He has allowed us that time—time to grow, to mature, to change carefully and slowly, to know deep down the truth and the reality of the Christianity he has revealed to us. Time for it to settle in and become a part of us for all eternity. 

Prayer
Eternal Father, we live in a world of instants, and that influences how we relate to and view our relationship with you. Help us to realise, Father, that we are in this Christian walk with you for the long term. We so often forget that we are headed for eternity with you, which is a very long time! In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen
 

Study by John Stettaford

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johnstettafordAbout the Author:
John Stettaford is an Elder in the Reading Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Reading
Prospect School, 6th Form Common Room
Honey End Lane
READING
RG30 4EL

Meeting time:
Saturday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Stettaford
Phone:  01923-241426
Email: pastor@wcg-reading.org.uk

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