Message from our Pastor

It has been very hot here in recent weeks as I’m sure you have all noticed.  In fact uniquely hot for this country in record temperatures.  That said, some of the reaction to it in society and particularly the media has been over the top.  Those of you from more tropical countries are no doubt especially surprised by some of the exaggerations.  I think that the English do tend to overreact to anything approaching extreme weather, be it cold, hot, storms, etc.   If it is hot then apparently the heat is worse here, likewise the cold, and so on.  In fact it is often said that discussing (complaining about!) the weather is a national pastime.  Now I know I am not the most tolerant person with regards especially to heat (just ask Maya, the kids or my father!), but I do think there are some helpful spiritual truths we can glean from ’coping with the weather’.

Firstly, I have found that hot weather t is a bit like being in a pressure situation.  The trick is keeping cool, not panicking and also not dwelling obsessively on the problem at hand.  I decided consciously not to look at the thermometer in my bedroom until after the worst of the heatwave had passed.  I knew that if I looked at it I would be sure I couldn’t possibly sleep in those conditions.  So that helped (I was also fortunate that on the very hot days I had the option of sleeping downstairs; a luxury not everyone has).

When life gets hot (as in gets difficult and stressful), we do have a choice as to how we react.  If we turn in on ourselves and obsess about our problems they will feel magnified.  That is not to say we shouldn’t get help when we need it or that we don’t have a genuine complaint of course.  However, looking up to God and outward to other people is often a good antidote when we might feel inclined to pity ourselves and imagine the worst.

In a number of the Psalms we get a sense of someone struggling with their lot in life.  However, it also seems that when they re-focus their attention on God, and His goodness, leading and presence, that they can rise above their very trying circumstances.  Psalms 13, 22 and 130 are good examples of this.  Let us try to do the same.