Fireside with Rev Alistair Anquetil – To be a “Have” or Not to be

An influencer with
few rivals

An article published by the BBC in January 2011 made the following claim:

No other book, or indeed any piece of culture, seems to have influenced the English language as much as the King James Bible. Its turns of phrase have permeated the everyday language of English speakers, whether or not they’ve ever opened a copy.

Each of these idioms – together with another 240 or so – originated out of, or were popularised by, the Kings James Bible (AKA The Authorised Version), including the one which runs alongside the thoughts expressed in this piece…

Have’s and have-nots

The have’s and the have-nots is a well-known saying which is most commonly used when assessing people on the basis of what they eat, what they wear, where they live, whether they drive and what they drive.  Whether one identifies with, or is identified as being a “have” or a “have-not” will always be as a result of being measured in relation to the “fortunes” of another.

Things we do not have

One of the primary roles of advertising is to foster want and thereafter to offer the tailor-made solution to satisfying the same.  The latest model of car or phone, the figure-saving diet, the instant sexual appeal tied to a myriad of fragrances, the status that is linked to a particular brand.  There are even those whose marketing capitalises on our most noble intentions of care and concern for the surrounding environment.  How fascinating to live in a time with potential access to such a wide variety of things.  An obvious and notable side effect of this, is to develop an insatiable and perennial desire for the things we do not have.  

Changing Gear

Better known for her contribution to the world of music, Sheryl Crow, on this occasion, offers a piece of advice that is well worth considering when held up against this backdrop:

The season of Lent in the Christian Faith – in a way that is not altogether dissimilar to the experience that we have lived through in the various stages of lockdown – leads us to consider what is essential and what in fact is peripheral.  Through prayer, fasting and giving to others, we are invited to rest in a greater simplicity; to consider our wealth in light of gifts such as time, nature, eyesight, hearing, movement, acceptance and belonging – the sanctity of human life.  Our minds and hearts are turned more to what we have and less so to what we do not have.  The Psalmist expressed this sense of being a “have” – perhaps we might join him – in the full and beautiful confession:

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1 Comment

  1. Lorna Riddet says:

    Thanks Alistair for this great message.

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