Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thought for the Day
Good Morning Scotland
Radio Scotland
Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Good morning,

A burnt out car in the middle of the street.

A family home reduced to ashes.

Like the visual images of lives cut short in ancient Pompeii by an erupting volcano these pictures from Southern Australia tell the stories of lives which have been overwhelmed by something faceless and destructive.

What can you say?

The words “Such Things Happen" come to mind. Bit brutal that, though, no?

In other generations such things happened much more. Those listening to this broadcast this morning are members of a society where such things happen less than they did once upon a time.

We can do much to prevent disasters. We have the technical knowledge to deal with the aftermath effectively. We might say that such things ‘shouldn’t happen’

But events do knock a few holes in our certainty and perhaps they should.

Our lives are of a particular duration. It’s up to us whether we can treat this as either tragedy or opportunity. Like an artist with a canvas of a particular size we will lay down our colours within a confined space. There, love will be given and received – or not. There, challenges will be met and promises kept – or not. Faith kindled and exercised boldly in difficult circumstances – or not.

The old Book of Common Prayer put it this way in one prayer to God:
Make us, we beseech thee, deeply sensible of the shortness and uncertainty of human life.
The reflection that these lives of ours are not without earthly limits has always been seen as a healthy and sober reflection – not in the least morbid or obsessive. Precisely because we do not the choose the day of our departure we have the motivation to live with courage and boldness. 

No comments: