The tomato sauce wasn’t coming out of the squeezy bottle. But you could tell there was plenty inside. So, curious, I screwed off the white top, and lo and behold, the silver foil cap hadn’t been removed!
I was having lunch at my mum’s, and she had looked on in amazement as I screwed off the top. She didn’t know that you were supposed to do that. How then, I asked her, had she got any sauce out at all. Oh, she said cheerfully, I just poke a knife in the top!
It is a recent invention, that silver foil cap. There are the posh ones that have a lift up flap on top, there are the ones that have a little lip, and there are the ones that you get from the cheapest supermarkets that do have a flap, but it usually comes off and hides in the plastic lid you have to remove. Sometimes you have to resort to the knife solution my mum uses anyway.
It is a good design idea, though to make use of it you have to notice that something has changed, and accept the new ‘way things are’ as normal, or it is a baffling inconvenience, or even an insurmountable obstacle.
The gifts God gives us are like that. Paul advises that the best way is to ask for them – that way you are expecting changes, and are ready to adapt to a new normal. When God decides to be generous unexpectedly, you may find new insights, compassionate tears, hunger for God’s word, or whatever, hard to accommodate, embarrassing, or even a nuisance.
Please ask, accept, and persevere. God gives gifts to individuals, but they are there for the building up of the whole church. Bring them and