Day Total (on foot): less than 58 feet (the length of the boat!)
Overall Total: 412.75 miles, 348 locks
Distance to Newbury: 64miles, 39 locks
Today was a quiet day – more work on the sabbatical report, a bit of tidying (but not much!) and the hoovering, which is a weekly task on a Friday morning. I am really looking forward to the long weekend – although family will be going home on Monday, leaving me alone for my birthday on Tuesday!
So, what is my picture for today…. This one!
The picture is taken by Sean Johnston, in the lake district. It sums up the weather over the last few days perfectly.
Today I have seen, Sun, Wind, Torrential Rain, Sun, Cloud, Hail, Drizzle and now sunny intervals. The weather elsewhere has been even more bizarre, with snowmen at home in Doncaster when only a few miles away there was only rain.
I’ll never forget the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu (pronounced Centre-moo, according to his description, “not the left moo, nor the right moo…”) talking about weather.
“Weather”, he said. “In Britain we are always talking about the weather. In Uganda where I was born we didn’t have weather – we had climate”
It took me a while to work out what he meant, but he explained. In Uganda, the time of year told you what the weather would be like – hot, dry, torrential rain, etc. The weather didn’t change on a daily basis (nor hourly) it changed with the patterns of the year.
That is the difference between our location on the globe – sat under the moving jet stream and subject to whatever weather the fickle Atlantic systems choose to throw at us – and Uganda, sat in a relatively stable atmosphere.
Weather or Climate…
In our lives there are many “storms” that come. Grief, stress, work, Church, family – they can all cause us intense frustration and pain. I think sometimes though, we mistake “Weather” and “Climate”.
In life storms come… the Bible tells us that God will be there for us.
You have been a refuge for the poor,
a refuge for the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the storm
and a shade from the heat.
Isaiah chapter 25 verse 4
When the storms come we are tempted sometimes to forget that the storms of this life are usually weather – they come and they go. We can be discouraged when a storm comes and not notice the sunny day. We can become so convinced we are in a season of storms, we miss the sunshine and the rainbows of God’s promises and provision. We forget that weather will change quickly.
Yes there are times of our lives that are more like Climate. Times when a relentless series of issues weighs us down, but then we are tempted to forget the truth that climate will change too – more slowly, but relentlessly, the seasons will change and the storms will pass.
Today you may be in the midst of weather or climate.
It the weather or the climate is good then enjoy, give thanks but prepare – like Joseph in Egypt (read the story in the book of Genesis) plan for the possibility of difficult times ahead – build up your spiritual reserves – get close to Jesus while its easy.
If things are more stormy in your life then ask yourself is it just weather, or is it climate. If its just weather then put a mental coat on, and go and dance in the rain. If its the climate that is poor then turn back to Him – to the one who holds all the seasons of our lives in His hand, and find in him all the strength you will need to get through.
Weather or Climate? He will be your refuge and you delight.
A hymn that always makes me cry. Yet it gives me hope on stormy days – I can hide in Jesus and be safe.
1 Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.
2 Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law’s demands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.
3 Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.
4 While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyes shall close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,
see thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee.
This is the rock believed to have given Augustus M Toplady his inspiration for the Hymn in 1775. It is Burrington Coombe near Bristol.