I started in a new job, and during the first few months already I have had many things to think about. As if I did not have enough on my plate already! Our children often laugh and say that I could write good detective stories with my wide-ranging imagination. My imagination brings a lot of color to our daily life, often only in my dreams but sometimes even in real life.
At work we were looking for a certain baking recipe. We did not find it, but found decades-old school notebooks. We laughed when we read the old baby care instructions. They said, for instance, that working mothers would not be able breast-feed their babies. Babies were to be fed at certain times only, and the recommended baby foods were a bit different from what we use now. It is strange how far people can stray from the ancient and natural rhythms and practices. They assume they know things and act in rational ways. Yet they may just be following whims of fashion.
I believe things go much better when we use our instincts and the famous common sense.
There are not many believers in Posio, and we have been able to have services and other events within the imposed restrictions. Bible class and Sunday school have been arranged outdoors. I was also invited to attend Bible class, though I only gave a ride to our own Bible class students and went to do my monthly work contribution at the ry. The teacher of the Bible class had prepared sets of tasks for six groups, and I was the sixth group.
My group work topic was "The Word remains forever". While looking for Bible portions related to this, I kept thinking along the same lines as Matti Taskila, who writes: “Many things change in the course of time and in line with people’s preferences, but God’s word remains unchanged and independent of the public opinion.”
" All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” (1 Pet. 1:24–25). This word is safe, and it is good to remember it again and again, especially when things seem to go wrong or lead to a dead end.
I probably read the Bible and SRK’s devotional books far too seldom, but whenever I do, I find comfort and security in them. I once leafed through the Bible for something to write on a card to a newly-wed couple, but all things I found seemed to suit my own life situation. I found nothing for the young couple. It was an awe-inspiring experience, almost frightening, as were the events that took place after that. Fortunately, however, all that strengthened my weak faith and showed me the way ahead. It made me feel secure and confident of God’s guidance, which I sometimes doubt. That was how I had also felt then. I had even said aloud that God had nothing good to give to me.
But He had good things to give then and still does, if only I open my eyes and look around.
In addition to faith and confidence, a right kind of attitude helps in many situations. Viktor E. Frankl, who survived his stay on a concentration camp, said: "You can deprive a person of all but one thing: the freedom to choose their own attitude in whatever situation they may be.”
On the concentration camp he also saw that, even in those inhuman circumstances, those who had faith were able to arrange small prayers or devotions in their corners. I am particularly interested in stories from the Auschwitz concentration camp, because I visited there when I was ten years old. I saw the furnaces, the display cases of items collected from the inmates, and a documentary from the time the camp was still in operation. I remember all that, but to a child the events were so incomprehensible that they did not even seem shocking. If I went there now, I am sure I would just cry.
I also learnt another thing in the Bible class. I have been pondering about some topical matters, such as diaconal work and the Finnish Church’s joint responsibility collection. How could we find the strength and willingness to participate and contribute?
Lauri Taskila has written: "Re-born people do not live only for themselves but for their Creator. They want to be merciful to their neighbors and love them with the same love that they have been loved with. In this they are guided by God’s Word, which is like a light shining in the dark and shows them the right way." (2 Pet. 1:19.)
Text: Salla Pätsi
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
Reilut kymmenen vuotta sitten julkisiin rakennuksiin alkoi ilmestyä kansioita, joissa luki ”pelastussuunnitelma”. Monien kirkkojen sakasteissa tämä antoi aiheen huumorille ja erilaisille toteamuksille: ”Viimeinkin pelastussuunnitelma on tiiviissä paketissa niin pappien kuin seurakuntalaisten saatavilla”. Joku puolestaan pohti: ”Eikö Raamattu enää riitäkään pelastussuunnitelmaksi, kun apua pitää kysyä viranomaisilta?” Rakennusten turvallisuuteen liittyvä ohjeistus muistutti siitä, että kirkko on Jumalan pelastussuunnitelman eli sielujen pelastamisen asialla.
Välähdyksiä rovasti Pentti Kopperoisen elämän varrelta sekä ajankuvaa suomalaisten elämästä 1930-luvulta nykypäiviin.
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