"Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring." Proverbs 27.1
We have been enjoying the most extraordinary weather here on the Isle of Skye. Days and days of crisp winter sunshine. While others have been engulfed in snowy chaos, all of our white stuff has remained picturesquely draped over the mountains. The roads are mercifully ice-free and the frost is mostly under the ground. That is all set to change, with wind and snow turning to rain - and more wind!
I have been making the most of the opportunity to get around the parish on my bike, visiting our churches, praying around them and the communities we serve. I'm not sure when I shall get to do that again, over such a sustained period of time. And that makes me all the more appreciative of this precious moment. Nothing is guaranteed, everything is a gift.
The teacher in the proverb above, warns against making assumptions about the future. Instead we are exhorted to trust Jesus and put ourselves in God's hands. Through the prophet Jeremiah (29.11), the Lord says: "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." That does sound like a guarantee! Not a license to do as we please but an assurance that, if we do the right thing and choose God's way, then we can face the future with confidence.
And isn't that a refreshing prospect in these unsettling days, where even the optimism engendered by the vaccination programme is undermined by fears of mutation, ineffectuality and fresh outbreaks of new viruses. Isn't it time we stopped running away from God? Isn't it time our leaders ended their refusal to acknowledge the Almighty? Perhaps this is the time for Christians to speak up and speak out - with words of contrition and hope...