"Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall..." Isaiah 40.30
The gremlins have been hard at work. I'm currently trying to log in to a seminar at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig but the technology is against us. Previous to that I was dealing with a dramatic reduction in our Broadband speed at the manse. In the greater scheme of things these are minor irritations rather than major catastrophes. Yet they remind us not to take the technology we rely on for granted.
The same could be said of one another. Tragically it is too often when we lose touch with someone, either through absence or death, that we realise how much they meant to us. And so it goes on across a range of categories: it might be the passing of an age, the deterioration of a much loved tennis racket, or the loss of a musical instrument. Whether the absence is temporary or permanent, we are jolted into fresh appreciation of whatever it is we are missing.
Does the principle extend to faith in God? Commentators have lamented society's loss of touch with our Christian roots. The reality of that broken connection will only be proved when the purported loss finds expression in the public discourse. That may not be long in coming, considering the moral confusion that abounds at every level! But there are no guarantees that a society so determined to kick over the traces of its religious heritage will find the humility to confess that it was wrong.
All the more reason, then, to take responsibility for our own situation. With what or whom have we grown over familiar? How can we re-set our appreciation? Or maybe the problem is that we have lost our zest for whatever it is we are missing? Isaiah reminds his fellow Israelites that even those in their prime can falter. The antidote is to shift our dependance back onto God, who delights to re-invigorate even the frailest.
Colonel Sir Tom Moore hopes the Queen will not be too heavy handed with her sword when she knights him. Yet this doughty old soldier's chipper spirit has given us all a boost. How much more the Holy Spirit longs to breathe into those who will receive him. It's Ascension Day tomorrow and Pentecost is coming...