They opened with a prayer, chatted about their lives since they had met last two weeks before, and then discussed the following questions, knowing that their answers could be as broad ranging as they wished – personal or theological – there were no rules!!!
1. What do you believe stands between you and complete happiness?
2. What's something you think every person should experience in their lifetime?
Both questions created interesting discussion that often led to deep searching very personal sharing.
In summary, happiness can very fragile and depends on what happens to us, where Joy comes from a deep and personal knowledge of and relationship with Jesus.
All of the Class agreed that every person should experience the living Lord Jesus in their lifetime, to know His love in their lives.
Martin shared a story by Charles (Chuck) Swindoll, called the Giving Tree after which they sang Longing for Light written by Bernadette Farrell ad then closed with a prayer.
The Giving Tree by Charles R Swindoll
It happened again last week. One by one the rest of the family had drifted off to bed, I put a couple more logs on the fire, slid into my favourite chair, and red for well over an hour. I came across a few thoughts put together by Ed Dayton, a long-time leader in the World Vision Ministry. His words sent me back many years when he mentioned watching a short film called the “Giving Tree”, a simple fanciful piece about a tree that loved a boy.
When the boy was young, he swung from the tree’s branches, climbed all over her, ate her apples, slept in her shade. Such happy, carefree days. The tree loved those years.
But as the boy grew, he spent less and less time with the tree. “Come on, let's play”, invited the tree on one occasion, but the young man was interested only in money.
“Take my apples and sell them” said the tree. He did and the tree was happy.
He didn't return for a long time, but the tree smiled when he passed one day. “Come on, let's play!” but the man was older and tired of his world. He wanted to get away from it all. “Cut me down. Take my large trunk and make yourself a boat. Then you can Sail Away,” said the tree. The man did, and the tree was happy.
Many seasons passed - Summers and Winters, windy days and lonely nights - and the tree waited. Finally, the old man returned, too old and tired to play, to pursue riches, or to sail the seas. “I have a pretty good stump left, my friend. Why don't you just sit down here and rest?” said the tree. He did, and the tree was happy.
I stared Into the Fire, watching my life pass in review as I grew older with the tree and the boy. I identified with both - and it hurt.
How many “Giving Trees” have there been in my life? How many have released part of themselves so I might grow, accomplish my goals, find wholeness and satisfaction? So, many. Thank you, Lord, for each one. Their names could fill this page.
The fire died into glowing embers. It was late as I crawled into bed. I had wept, but now I was smiling. “Good night, Lord,” I said. I was a thankful man.
Thankful I had taken time to reflect
They meet again on Tuesday 16th June 2020 @ 7.30pm when they will consider
1. What’s the one thing you wish to accomplish in your lifetime?
2. Is it easier to love or hate? Why?
They will close with a song and prayer.