This Week's Comment from Network 7 News 

Edition 378 – September 25, 2004.  

 This weeks  was written by AWR volunteer, Joyce Hill.  The full programme can be heard in Real Audio on our web-site.

This Instant

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Ooooh!…. What a pleasing aroma!   Just the memory of walking down the High Street towards, and then passing the coffee shop tickles my olfactory senses, not to mention my taste buds. It was fascinating, too, to watch the coffee beans gyrating as they roasted in their specialist roaster placed in the shop window. Mostly it was easy to walk on away from the tempting aroma – thoughts of caffeine and healthy living and all that. When coffee-bean-burning smoke poured out of the shop doorway, as sometimes happened, well, that was a different story. Then it was a pleasure to rush away from the fumes.

One day a friend and I succumbed to the inviting smell of coffee. The coffee house was small and cosy, but amazingly the coffee menu was long and very interesting. It had never occurred to me that coffee could be mixed and matched in such an interesting variety of ways. I ended up with a coffee-bean-fig mix …and really enjoyed it.

There once was a time, many moons ago, when coffee meant coffee beans roasted and ground and boiled in a coffee pot. Then a change began to appear. “Do stay for a cup of coffee. Oh, but I’m afraid I’ve only got instant coffee these days. I hope you don’t mind!”

The rot had begun!  Instant coffee became popular, and over the years has been followed by instant tea, instant custard, cup-o-soup, pot-noodles and instant this that and the other too numerous to mention. How about instant entertainment – videos, DVD’s?  Instant communication as with telephones,  mobile phones, text-messaging. World events unfolding as you watch television – instant News, instant gratification in everything.

I enjoy many of these instant blessings as much as the next person, but I can’t help thinking that none of them is really instant. There is some kind of technical knowledge behind each product. There is some kind of preparation behind the sale of all instant foods. There is a great deal of industry, knowledge, research and people time behind aural and visual entertainment. The ‘instant’  is only realised when consumer and product get together. Rarely do we stop to think about what it took to bring this instantaneousness into our lives.

Only the other day a friend and I agreed that there is only one thing in this world that is truly instant. ‘Salvation,’ we said, ‘that is really instant!’ Any moment that a person honestly and openly asks Jesus Christ to come into their life, salvation is theirs. It’s certain, and it’s free! Surely that is far better than all the instant gratifications this world has to offer.

Yes, salvation is free to every one who will accept it. But just for a moment think how much it cost the one who offers the gift. Think how much planning lay behind the gift, how much suffering it brought  to the giver, how much sorrow grieved the inhabitants of heaven as  they lived through the preparation time that made instant salvation possible.

So, I ask myself, is anything instant, truly instant?  I’m glad to accept salvation. But as for that cup of coffee, (er…dandelion coffee), we’ll have to wait a minute for the kettle to boil!

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