Calm prepares us for those stormy days

The Rev Gilbert Nisbet of Leven Parish Church
The Rev Gilbert Nisbet of Leven Parish Church

It’s been a glorious summer. It’s been quite a number of years since I heard folk say so often what wonderful weather we were having.

Oh yes, there’s been the odd complaint about how hot it was.

However, on the whole, I think everyone has felt the benefit of the warm, sunny, cloud-free days which we have known during this summer of 2013.

It’s been something of a tonic for all. We all need the boost that a period of bright days gives us.

It’s refreshing, just as a holiday is refreshing.

It calms the mind, lifts the heart and boosts the spirit.

It sets us up for the long days of winter and makes the darker times easier to endure.

We all need to be refreshed. The good days give us the energy to get through the rest of the year.

For me, worship in Church provides similar refreshment. That time on a Sunday, when we step aside from all our other concerns and cares and concentrate on God, helps me to get through the other days and the often dull duties which come around.

There’s an old story about a group of young people taking a voyage to the Northern Isles.

It was a small ship and, when they dined with the captain on their first nightout, they thought him a rather quaint old man.

They were particularly amused by his saying grace before the meal. Well, even then, it was a bit old fashioned.

However, later that night, the wind got up and the sea became very rough.

The little ship pitched up and down and lurched from side to side. The young folk were rather frightened.

One of their number went to see the captain on the bridge to ask what he thought.

He told them it was one of the worst storms he had ever seen. Maybe they’d make it, and maybe they wouldn’t.

This wasn’t reassuring.

After reporting back to his friends, the young man was sent back to the bridge to ask the captain if he would mind coming down to the lounge and saying a prayer with his frightened passengers.

He replied: “I say my prayers when it’s calm. When it’s rough, I attend to my ship!”

There’s good advice for all of us in the wisdom of the old captain.

If we enjoy a well-established relationship with God in the calm times of our life, we will know His strength helping us through the rough times.

Rev Gilbert Nisbet of Leven Parish Church