When I was a chaplain in the Royal Air Force my postings officer once asked me where I should like to serve. A couple of places came to mind; one of them was in Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and the other one was Akrotiri in Cyprus. Imagine my surprise when I was told that I was off to RAF Booschan, described to me as “full of Eastern promise.” My initial euphoria and excitement was tempered however when I discovered that Booschan was in reality RAF Buchan (what a wit my Desk Officer was!) situated on an inhospitable point in the far north eastern corner of Scotland!
Isn’t life just full of surprises and so often those surprises take us in directions that we least anticipate!! As we all know the shores of human history are littered with the wreckage of carefully worked out plans that have come to nought. Or as John Lennon remarked, “Life is what we live in between the plans that we make.”
A hymn very familiar to most of us is All My Hope On God Is Founded written by Joachim Neander; it’s one of my favourites and its prayerful words are particularly apposite amidst the apparent political turmoil that our country is experiencing in these times. For the questions it begs us ask are these; Is it and does he?
At time of personal anxiety and uncertainty to whom do we look and where do we go to discover security and hope. It seems to me that if it is to the world of politics, high finance and institutional government we will find ourselves deeply disappointed. Empires come and go and the nations are as a drop in a bucket as the prophet Isaiah reminds us. But Our God is forever.
It is often in the most difficult of times that we rediscover the first principles of the Faith. We look to God and we turn to prayer. In the midst of a storm the fearful disciples on the Sea of Galilee put their trust in Jesus; so must we. And this is an important truth not simply to be sung about, but lived throughout the uncertainties of life. All my hope on God IS founded. Me through change and chance he guideth – Ever good and Ever…True.
Wishing you all a very trusting and faithful 2019.