Tuesday, March 04, 2014


Our area hasn’t been affected by the seemingly endless rainfall as badly as some parts of the country. But there’s no getting away from the fact that it has been rather damp outside of late. For weeks the top news item has featured some welly-wearing politician or other trying to look as though they are in control as they visit flood affected towns and villages. Who’s to blame? Some point to global warming, others to poor planning decisions that allowed building on flood plains. Experts argue about whether or not dredging rivers would have made a difference. I don’t know.

The winter storms raise questions concerning some of our deeply held assumptions. We expect the government to be able to sort out many of the problems we face as a society. But recent events have exposed the limits of State power. As King Canute could not turn the tide at his command, so government ministers cannot order the Thames, Parrett, or Severn to return to the limits of their banks. ‘An Englishman’s home is his castle’, we say. But rising rivers are no respecters of the sanctity of property. People’s houses that once seemed to stand so firm and secure have been invaded by murky torrents that ruin everything in their wake.

Human power at its most organised is no match for the force of nature. Our achievements, writ large in property and possessions can be swept away in a moment. The Christian lives in this world, but does not live simply for what this world has to offer. Faith teaches us to ‘fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.’ Where are you setting your sights?  

* For News & Views, West Lavington Parish Magazine 

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