Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thought for the Day
Good Morning Scotland
Radio Scotland
Thursday, December 4th, 2008

So how do we get to where we’re supposed to be?
My godson is a military policeman with British Forces in Iraq. He finishes his term of service close to Christmas and has a tiny window of opportunity to fly back to the UK and from there to his parents’ dinner table in British Columbia. There may be touch-and-go moments at airports but once Justin is strapped into his seat on the plane he can leave the navigating to the pilots.

Birds seem to find their way by navigating with the help of the stars. And there’s been a story this week of a new theory about how Scottish salmon manage to get from Greenland or Norway back to the exact bit of the Scottish stream where they were hatched. The theory suggests they have a map of the magnetic fields of the earth printed right into their circuits. Not overly clever creatures, salmon, but they know where they’re supposed to be heading.

We don’t all feel so connected to our origins or our final destination either. In December we feel the distance rather than the closeness – distance from other people – and distance from a familiar story of Love and Reconciliation – a star – a baby – a new beginning.

We’ve perhaps just accepted that. It’s the way our cookie has crumbled. But some of us would give our right arm to feel like we were home again - like we were somewhere on the way to understanding that Story –maybe for the first time.

People will come to Church this Christmas seemingly out of the blue. I was always taught that nobody shows up in Church by accident. We are all at the midpoint of some journey. Feeling some longing within us – our perceived distance from our destination we set out to discover our route. We too have a map imprinted deep within our circuits. Or as one African saint, Saint Augustine put it in his Confessions:

'You have made us for yourself, O Lord,
and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you'

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