Acts 5:34-42
John 6:1-15


“When I was a child, I very much enjoyed Lent. My Dad and I had a deal you see. Whatever I gave up, he allowed me to have as much as I wanted on the weekend of Easter. If I gave up chocolate or ice cream, the fridge would be full of it and I was allowed to eat as much of these things as I wanted. I remember indulging so much that I would often engage in my own self-imposed “Lent” because I got sick eating too many treats. One year, however, the fridge was not stocked. I remember being very angry at my Dad. I had felt I had given up ice cream ALL Lent for no good reason. He simply said to me, “Well, it’s time you understood what Lent was about!”

As you can expect, this didn’t sit well with 9-year-old me. For the next ten years, I no longer gave anything up for Lent. 

After this 10-year period, I found myself on a Vinnies Camp for disadvantaged kids (a pretty girl had asked me to volunteer, so it was not out of my own goodness, I assure you!) It was at this camp that I was having a conversation with a 9-year-old boy about ice cream.

This boy loved ice cream so much!  He proceeded to tell me that his birthday gift for the last 3 years was his family going to an ice cream shop, and his family would share a triple scoop ice cream, and that was his only birthday present. 

To me, this seemed to be so very meagre, but yet this 9-year-old boy talked about the experience with so much joy. Looking back at myself when I was 9 shows a very stark difference. 

I think what my Dad was trying to tell me was simply that “less is more” or to better put it in my mind, “Having more hides the important bits”. 

This little boy understood that life can be tough yet saw the joy where little me could not. I hope that all of us remember to focus on the best, even when the good can obscure it”.

Thomas Warren.