Morning light crept round the bedroom curtain. Time to stir; an unusual light this morning; more like the white of a full moon on a crisp winter night.
Through the frosted glass, all looked white outside. Pulling back the curtain I can see it had snowed; the rectory lawn was covered. The weather forecast had been threatening snow for some days, but I had expected little more than sleet here. Now we had white everywhere.
By mid-morning the snow had cleared but the morning fall would have made life tricky if I had had an early start. Today’s plans take me outside and, expecting cold and wet, warm clothes, gloves and footwear are at the ready. I have been caught out once too often, painfully.
Once again the weather forecast had been accurate, but we tend to filter warnings and advice through the lens of existing expectations; we see what we want to see or expect to see. This week I have been reading Jeremiah. The country is threatened with invasion and people are beginning to ask, ‘Where is God in all this, why is he not responding to our prayers for help?’ God’s reply is that he has been warning them for years, and they weren’t listening. Now it is too late.
Today I had heeded the weatherman’s warning and was prepared. The day’s planned activities all pass safely and comfortably. Still, the, for me unexpected, layer of snow reminded me to take more notice of the forecast. It’s not just the weather. After 3 years of crises we are weary of turmoil and change. We long for better times where better often means stability and the familiar. In our hearts we know that change is needed in so many areas of life; but do we look for the changes that take us back, rather than forward. Jesus warned his disciple to ‘Keep alert …. keep awake, for you do not know when the master of the house will come (Mark 13:33, 35). Are we alert to God’s prompting, or do we think it’s just for somewhere else?
Rev Philip Payne
The Notice Sheet for 12th March can be found here