Thursday, 12 May 2022

If Not Now When


Once upon a time there was an elderly lady who had a bone china tea set. She had a teapot, a milk jug, a container for sugar, twelve cups and saucers and side plates for biscuits and cakes. The individually hand-made items where white in colour with beautiful red roses hand-painted as decorations and gold plating on the rims of the cups and plates. Although the set was quite old it was in pristine condition as if it had just left the factory; now long closed and out of business.

She loved that tea set and displayed it proudly in a glass-fronted cupboard in her living room.

She never used it because it was reserved for very special occasions. You know, just in case the Pope or the Queen might visit. Which of course they never did; nor were they likely to ever do. The old lady was very concerned in case an item would break or be chipped in use and the set would be incomplete and the damaged item irreplaceable

The tea set remained in the glass-fronted cupboard, admired by everyone who visited the old lady, and proudly loved by her whenever she looked at it.

One day the old lady died and her distant relatives, who never visited her when alive, sold all her belongings and used the money towards a holiday abroad.

When the old lady met St Peter at the Gates of Heaven, for that is where she was destined, the old Saint, who was used to drinking from an old clay cup when on earth, remarked casually “You never did get to use that lovely tea set, did you?”

“No!” she replied forlornly, “I saved it for a special occasion which never arrived!”

“Hmmm …” thought the Saint stroking his beard, “You also never got round to planting aubergines and courgettes in your garden. You always wanted to do that. But never did!”

“That’s right …” remembered the old lady, “Somehow I never got round to it. You know how it is … I was busy cleaning the house and things …”

St Peter chuckled quietly and added “Buon giorno!”

The old lady looked up at the tall man in total confusion.

He laughed and said, “Remember that winter when you promised yourself to learn Italian? You even bought a book and a dictionary, but never got to enrol at the local college for evening classes.”

“Yes … that’s right …” she replied shyly, “I wish I’d done that. Somehow the time was never right to start those classes. I would have enjoyed them too!”

An ominous silence followed and she wondered frightfully whether her omissions had somehow prejudiced her chances of entering Paradise.
“Do come in, my dear!” said the kindly Saint, “you know …” he added as he scratched his head, “it grieves me when I look down on earth and see so many people procrastinating and postponing doing something they set their hearts on.

“I watch and think … if not now, when?

“Somehow, people always have a reason for not doing something. When the Big Boss created the world for us He meant us to enjoy His creations, not postpone them and endure life!”

As she was led to her room in Paradise she discovered by her bedside the porcelain tea-set she once owned, two packets of aubergine and courgette seeds and an Italian dictionary.

The kindly Saint had given her a second chance to fulfil her dreams.


  1. Hi Victor, if I meet that person I am so glad that I will be able to say that I did everything I wanted to do while on this earth, the main thing being that I came to my saviour Jesus. God bless.

  2. Ciao! Buon Giorno...!
    I don't mind admitting l started shedding a tear
    half way through this post...It brought back vivid
    memories of mia Mama..and yes she had a similar
    tea set, possibly in a similar glass~fronted cupboard!
    The tea set was only used on special occasions,
    with very special visitors!
    I think l can count the amount of times l've drunk out
    of a tea cup on one you see..they were very

    ALL your posts are amazing Victor..goes without saying..
    But! This one has moved me strangely..the story, the
    Italian bit, and remembering mia Mama...
    God Bless You Victor..God Bless You..! And Thankyou!

    PS..Hope it's o.k. but l'd like to forward this to a few
    family..who read/write English and friends...Thankyou!

    1. Thank you so much Willie, my friend, for your kind words. I felt this morning that I had to re-post this article once again. I had nothing prepared for today so I searched my archives for it.

      Of course you can copy this, or forward it to family and friends if it would help.

      You can find this storey and others in my book REFLECTIONS FOR THE SOUL available here:

      Also, it is in another book which you can download FREE from my website. The book is called THE ADVENTURES OF FATHER IGNATIUS. It is the last story in the book. Download FREE from here:

      There are other books you can download FREE from this site and share with friends and family. You can also print them or copy them to CD if you wish.

      Just spread the word about God and His love for us.

      God bless,

  3. ...I often say this, peace now!

  4. A great reminder. Thank you.

  5. I just prayed, I needed this my friend. THANKS

    1. Thank you so much, Jack. Praying for you and family.

      As I mentioned to Willie, (above), I felt drawn this morning to reposting this story from my books.

      God bless you and yours.

  6. So beautiful and touching, Victor. Yes, let us not put off for a "some day" to enjoy all God has given us.

    1. Amen Martha. Let us live and enjoy every day the Lord has made.

      God bless you and your family.

  7. Dearest Victor,
    Well, both of us certainly have not postponed much in our lives. But right now we still feel like we're running out of time for doing it all.
    My first and most urgent goal was to get Pieter's family stories written down as one never knows. So far God has granted him lots of 'over–time' and maybe for a reason. Let's hope what he passes down to his only two nieces and great–nieces + great–nephew, will have meaning.
    We all need to find a purpose for being on this earth; however brief in the context of eternity.
    When I married I knew that I was going to use my china, crystal and silverware every day of my life. Not for sitting behind glass and even with lights shining on them for just 'showing off'. I've always found that the most silly and wasted thing there is.
    Now, knowing that I'm at stage 4 of CKD, I also wear my good clothes. If not know then when?! Let them hang in the closet for what?!
    There are so many things that people better not postpone as soon enough we all will get called HOME!

    1. You are very wise and an inspiration to many, Mariette. Thank you and Pieter for all the good work you did amongst the lepers.

      God bless you both. Praying for you.

  8. Have a blessed day my friend. Regine

  9. What a wonderful ending! I'm always a little sad when, at estate sales, I see people's fine china ignored; young people aren't interested in that stuff anymore. One of my favorite memes goes, "Don't save anything for a special occasion. Being alive is a special occasion."

    1. What a wonderful saying, Mevely. Indeed, being alive is a special occasion to be celebrated every day as we wake up by saying "Thank you".

      God bless you and your family my friend.

  10. I read an article many years ago about this exact thing. It changed my attitude about 'saving' things for special occasions.
    Like Mevely said being alive is a special occasion.

    1. It's so true, Happyone. Being alive is a special occasion.

      God bless you.

  11. A lady i knew married a man whose mama saved everything "for good." "We can't use that linen at Christmas, it's for good!" she would say.

    When the mother-in-law died, the lady i knew found all these lovely linens and china and such in cabinets with notes that said, "Do Not Use! Saved for good!"

    The lady started using it. She said, "No one better than my own family will ever come through my door, they're good enough for all the things saved for good."

    1. A good attitude to have. Let us see the good in others rather than wait for the good to come into our lives.

      God bless you, Mimi.

  12. What a sweet story. I haven’t used my good china for a very long time. This encourages me to do so. Thank you for sharing this. Blessings.

    1. Yes, enjoy your good china Nells. Thank you for visiting me again. I am having difficulties visiting your Blog. It is blocked somehow. Praying you are well.

      God bless.



God bless you.