July 2013

Weather or not…

I guess I’m one of those people who frequently talk about the weather.

Generally it’s either too hot or too cold – and, apart from the last few weeks, it’s been cold for what seems like years. It’s either too wet or too dry – we have had the wettest spring for 50 years following on from last year’s spring being the driest in almost 100 years. It’s often too windy, but on a hot stuffy summer’s night a bit of wind would be better than the oppressive calm.

I frequently check out the weather forecast on TV, radio, or online. I have three different weather apps on my smart phone that in three different layouts tell me the forecast in Rayleigh or Timbuktu hour by hour over the next 5 days.

And at the end of it all, I can’t alter tomorrow’s weather one iota.

I can of course mitigate some of the effects of the weather conditions. I can wear a raincoat or carry an umbrella if the forecast says rain. I can put on my bulkiest coat, wrap my bright red scarf around my neck and put on my thick woollen gloves if a cold snap is predicted. And I can even put on my shorts, T-shirt and sandals if heat wave is foretold, though lately that hasn’t happened very often.

And at the end of it all, I can’t alter tomorrow’s weather one iota.

I can of course, like many of us, complain about the weather. It is a national obsession not only to talk about it, but to complain about the weather. Hot, cold, wet, dry, windy or calm, it’s never what it should be, it’s never like it was when I was a lad.

And at the end of it all, I can’t alter tomorrow’s weather one iota.

I think I have quoted the German theologian Reinhold Neibuhr’s ‘Serenity Prayer’ in a previous newsletter. The original, though it has been altered and revised over the years, goes like this:-

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

I guess it’s not just in tomorrow’s weather that I could learn a bit of wisdom, but in quite a bit of my life; living one day at a time, enjoying each moment for what it is, trusting in the God who made the weather.


July 2013