Thought for the Day by Toby Parsons (All Hallows’)
Is it hot or cold?
Today’s picture: looking towards St Chad’s in the snow
My aunt took a lot of covid precautions when her son and daughter went to visit her on Christmas Day. She even toyed with the idea of them sitting outside for lunch, but in the end decided it was just too cold.
Maybe that strikes a chord? I guess few of us would have been keen to wrap up and shiver our way through turkey and the trimmings. The thing is, my aunt lives in Texas, and the temperature was hovering just under 20°C throughout Christmas. But it wasn’t an excuse – in a place where 40°C isn’t unusual, that level of “cold” would certainly have been uncomfortable for them.
At the other end of the spectrum, I have a weird interest in the weather in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia (don’t ask why!). And as I write this, the temperature there is -35°C. It’s forecast to warm up to a balmy -27°C during the day tomorrow!
Our views are often shaped by our experiences.
Just as the temperature we find comfortable reflects the environment we live in, so our way of looking at things can be constrained by what we’re used to. We see what we expect to see.
I wonder if that applies to our faith too?
Do we only see God where our experience tells us that God should be? Do we doubt or even get annoyed by the fact that others find their connection with the Lord in different places?
I’m looking forward to this new series of Thoughts for the Day through to Lent. We’ll get to hear about where others find God in the everyday. We’ll see images of normal, routine things in a different light. Maybe it will be the regular footpaths we walk; the distanced queues outside shops; the roadworks. But whatever the picture, we’ll have the chance to appreciate other perspectives.
In today’s picture, we look towards St Chad’s through the snow. Is it like a cold day in Texas, or a warm day in Ulaanbaatar? Do we worry about slipping on icy pavements, or rush to build snowmen in the park? Do we hope for more snow, or just long for a thaw?
We’ll all see things differently. And it may be hard to look beyond our immediate expectations. But whether it’s hot or cold, worrying or welcomed, God is waiting there for us.