Storms

Again, it's been a while again... and I didn't get a chance to post last week's Thought for the Day, but here is this morning's effort... you can get the audio version online later if you so desire...

In Greek mythology King Aeolus ruled an island kingdom and the gods granted him control of the winds. According to the poet Homer, Odysseus and his crew arrived on Aeolus’ island after nearly being eaten by a one-eyed giant. Aeolus by contrast allowed them to rest and relax for a month, and as they prepared to leave he provided Odysseus with the gift of a west wind to carry them home. But he also gave him a large sack, warning him to keep it stowed safely away until they got to their destination. Thanks to the favourable wind they were within sight of home after a few days, but when Odysseus fell asleep exhausted by the whole ordeal, his crew, curious to see what treasures Aeolus had given their captain, untied the sack. Unwittingly they unleashed all the other winds that Aeolus had packed safely away. The storm stirred up blew them away from their desired destination and none of the crew except Odysseus himself ever saw their home again… And it took him 10 long years…
I don’t know if one of the winds in Odysseus’ sack was called Gareth… but that incongruously named storm wreaked havoc last night. As I sat down to write this thought for the day, people were battening down the hatches uncertain of what the night might bring… But in the course of today Gareth will blow over and settle down and people will begin to pick up the pieces.
But last night was another reminder that we are in stormy political times too, with deep division not just between parties but within, reflecting and fomenting division across the country, between and within communities. At least with weather maps and forecasters like Angie we have some idea of what lies ahead with the weather. But the current political climate is creating uncertainty and fear in the face of the unpredictable winds of change that have been unleashed and are unlikely to blow over for some time yet…
I believe in a God who is there for us in the midst of the storms of life… physical, spiritual, political and personal… But I also believe in a God who calls us to be there for each other.
It was the American civil rights activist Dorothy Height who said “We cannot afford to be separate. We have to see that all of us are in the same boat.”
People within that boat may be deeply committed to going in completely opposite directions… But wherever we end up, and however we get there we all have a responsibility to watch out so that the weak and most vulnerable don’t get washed, or thrown, overboard en route…
Our journey is far from over… and the storms are still blowing so lets hold on tight to each other so that we all get to where we are going…
Shalom

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