We visited the Welsh Guards museum in Brecon, where there is an amazing collection of regimental artefacts and momentoes. Our visit was enhanced by the presence of an ex Guardsman with 30 years service, who regaled us with stories of the army and anecdotes from its past history.
There is one room full of rifles, another full of medals, a large model of the strategy of the battle of Rokes Drift, a plethora of military uniforms and equipment, --- but the object which really took my attention was-- a teddy bear! Pocket size, weather worn and battered, the label informed that it had been found lying in the mud, in a trench, in the 1914--1918 war and rescued. Its owner was presumed dead. This was such a poignant reminder of the futility of war! I imagined a young man, maybe only just 17 years old, leaving his village with splendid intentions, but carrying this little bear as a comforting reminder of home and security. Perhaps it was a superstitious emblem of hope, but it was surely a constant reminder of friends, family, and future when the war was over.
I was grateful that someone rescued little Teddy and brought it home. Of course we have to fight for what is right, to eradicate what is wrong. Recent battles provoke anger, because it seems that civilians have been used as human shields. But any warfare in the 21st Century can deliver absolute mayhem, such is the indiscriminate power of modern weaponry. Politicians proclaim that if the nuclear key was turned, no one would win. The whole world would be involved in nuclear fallout -- and time would be no more. Such is my reaction to that little Teddy bear, a treasure of hope, rescued from the past.
Consider then, this advice from the Bible."I urge you, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God."
What we pray now, in the present, will certainly affect the future. Please take your responsibility in the coming election seriously. Pray for wisdom as you cast your vote. Pray for each candidate, for every member of the next Government, and pray for all Leaders of all Nations. Entreat God for peace in our time. Take time, in prayer to trust God to turn the hearts of all humanity towards Him, with hope. Then, Teddy's unknown owner might not have died in vain!