Blog,  Radio

The one that got away… nearly!

After some technical diffs today it seems that two different thoughts for the day were broadcast on Radio Ulster and Radio Foyle. Radio Foyle got right while Radio Ulster broadcast one scheduled for another time. Anyhow, the upshot is that most people would not have heard the thought broadcast on Radio Foyle.

Appropriately, given that it’s the one that almost got away, the thought was inspired by the film, Jaws! And so, for those who didn’t hear it, here it is. You can also listen to this piece here.

 

I find inspiration in the strangest places sometimes. Most recently I found it while watching a scene from the film, Jaws. I know, bear with me. The scene saw the three main characters on a boat in the middle of the ocean tracking down a massive man-eating great white shark. They had been on the boat for hours and seen nothing. Two of them- the younger characters- busied themselves about the boat, tightening ropes and preparing bait. But the older character- the captain- simply sat in a chair beside the rod he had cast with its bait and hook deep into the ocean. The scene is very quiet and at one point we hear three barely perceptible clicks coming from the reel. The two young characters don’t hear it due to their busyness. The old captain, though, turns his head towards the reel and looks intently at it. He knows what the small clicking noises mean. He readies himself and a few seconds later the reel begins to scream as the shark takes the bait and swims off at a huge rate of knots. The two young characters are taken by surprise and are powerless in the face of it. The older captain, having read the signs of the times, takes control and gives them their orders. It is an exciting scene.

How often I find myself like the two younger characters- full of busyness and the doing of things. I create noise where there was none, often simply as a distraction from the silence. Sometimes this feels good and indeed sometimes busyness is good. However, I don’t often enough just sit quietly and listen.  I am always taken with a verse from the first book of Kings in the Old Testament. Elijah goes up a mountain to encounter God and having heard a strong wind, and earthquake and a fire but not encountering God in these noisy and busy events, he hears what is described as a gentle breeze- although I have read a translation that calls it ‘sheer silence’- and it is here that Elijah encounters God.

In recent months we have all been making great adjustments to our lives – most of them with reluctance but I wonder if we embraced these times we are in as an opportunity to read the signs of the times and ready ourselves for the future, what would we hear and see all around us? Might we see the folly in some of the less sustainable ways we have been living? Would we see a planet that needs our love and protection just as it provides us with sustenance itself? Would we see a whole raft of inequality and injustice that needs our attention and energy? I think we might just. And having seen these things we might be prepared like the old captain to do something about them.

In recent months we have all been making great adjustments to our lives – most of them with reluctance but I wonder if we embraced these times we are in as an opportunity to read the signs of the times and ready ourselves for the future, what would we hear and see all around us? Might we see the folly in some of the less sustainable ways we have been living? Would we see a planet that needs our love and protection just as it provides us with sustenance itself? Would we see a whole raft of inequality and injustice that needs our attention and energy? I think we might just. And having seen these things we might be prepared like the old captain to do something about them.

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