My owner has recently been on a visit to the Isles of Scilly situated some thirty miles off the tip of Cornwall. And on one particular day, he took a boat over to the island of Tresco. It was a very pleasant morning, so he walked across the island to the settlement called New Grimsby and bought a cup of coffee from a kiosk by the beach there. As he was sitting back surveying the scene, a very smart rib caught his eye. The rib was making a beeline for the beach, and my owner waited for it to run aground, and for the four crew members to jump off into the shallows. But this never happened. The rib kept on coming. And then my owner realised that this rib had wheels! An under-carriage which had been lowered to allow it to drive out of the water and up to the top of the beach. (It was a bit like watching James Bond drive out of the sea in his Lotus!) At the controls was a man dressed in an extremely bright jacket; in fact it was rather like a modern-day version of Joseph’s Techni-coloured dream coat. It was only when this man had parked the rib and jumped down to join the queue for coffee that my owner realised it was Craig Revel-Horwood from BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing.” And although other people in the queue clearly recognised who he was, no one asked for an autograph or a selfie. They respected the fact that he was also on holiday and needed his space and freedom.
Meanwhile, in the main harbour of the island of St. Marys, my owner saw another well-known celebrity. This one was Wally the Walrus who had somehow managed to swim down from Arctic waters to make his home in the harbour. He’s a bit like a Walrus version of Marco Polo or Christopher Columbus. Walruses like to go on feeding trips which can last two or three days before they return to a favourite spot to haul themselves out of the water and digest everything they’ve eaten. In the absence of any convenient ice-flows, Wally had tried to haul himself out onto various boats in the harbour. As he weighs at least 750kg, he’d managed to sink three ribs and damage a fourth. So the locals made him his own special pontoon after which everyone was happy. Well, almost everyone. Despite various signs and appeals, people still wanted to get a close look at Wally, so whenever he was in the harbour, a procession of small boats would go out and circle around his pontoon. Unlike Craig Revel-Horwood, Wally didn’t always get the space and freedom that he deserved.
So here we have two brief snapshots from a tiny set of islands which say so much about the world around us. Thoughtfulness and consideration are precious commodities which can make the difference between harmony and strife. And that’s why the Bible has quite a bit to say on this subject:
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)
“Live in harmony with one another…” (Romans 12:16a)
“…be peaceable and considerate, and show true humility towards all men.” (Titus 3:2b)
I wonder whether humans are bright enough to see this? What do you think?