Here is another beautiful snow scene taken by Captain B, though not this year - not yet anyway. But who knows? My sister posted a very snowy view from her Sheffield window on fb on Monday morning. So it may well be on its way down South.
The brother giving the public talk on Sunday gave us a very simple illustration about knowledge, understanding and wisdom. It is one I won't forget and so goes to prove that the simplest illustrations are the best.
It goes this way: If you are standing in the middle of the road and you see a bus heading straight for you, you have the knowledge of your situation. If you then realise that this bus is going to run you over if you don't get out of the way, you have the understanding of your situation. If you get yourself off the road and onto the pavement, then you have wisdom - the wisdom to use the knowledge and the understanding that you have.
But, without the wisdom to act on the knowledge and understanding you have, that knowledge and understanding is of no use to you. The bus will hit you. And you will sustain a lot more damage than it will.
The point being that not only do our lives depend on knowing and understanding what our Creator is telling us, but by our acting on it. And promptly.
And for sure you can know what the Bible says without any understanding, let alone wisdom. We must have read Jesus' Sermon on the Mount often in my convent schooldays, so we knew that Jesus said "the meek will inherit the earth". We had the knowledge. But where was the understanding, given we were still believing that the meek would go off to heaven?
Yet Jesus clearly said "the earth", not "heaven". It wasn't until two Jehovah's Witnesses called at my door, many years later that I got the understanding. And ever since then I have been taught the wisdom to act on the understanding.
Sunday's public talk was part of that teaching.
We had a short meeting after the meeting at the Hall yesterday, for those of us who have parts in the upcoming Assembly. So I now know that I will be first on in the Watchtower study, and the question I will be answering is: What similarities are there between our situation and that of the Jews who returned to Jerusalem?
And my answer must be one minute, no longer. So it's not difficult - it's just whether I panic at finding myself on the BIG stage... I think I may once have appeared as Fourth Toadstool in the back row (or some such) at a nativity play in my convent schooldays, but that is about it. And that was not a speaking part!
Nowadays I don't celebrate Christmas, but back then I longed to be cast as an angel in the nativity plays and have a pair of sparkly silver wings. Many many years later, I found myself in a Gift Shop in Stratford-on-Avon - probably the very Shoppe where Shakespeare bought his souvenir tea towels - and they had a pair of sparkly wings on sale. And I had a credit card!
"They'll never get you off the ground", Captain B pointed out gloomily, but accurately. So I didn't buy them.
But I was tempted.