Published in Largs and Millport Weekly News on 15 September 2021.
Last Friday morning, I was worried that the fog would delay my ferry to Millport for a funeral. Shrouded in mist, Cumbrae seemed much farther away. In fact, it didn’t look like Cumbrae at all! A few weeks earlier, the opposite was the case. Brilliant sunshine suggested you could put your hand out and touch the island in all its beauty. Meteorological perceptions aside, Cumbrae simply stays put. The weather is just the weather. It comes and goes, teasing us with its treachery.
The poet tells us that “no man is an island.” For a moment, though, consider yourself to be just that, an island. The first and most important thing about you is that you are. You are rooted in life. You have your own shape –physical and spiritual, emotional, moral and psychological. Your landscape and features have been moulded by many factors: by your freedom and intelligence, character and personality, family upbringing, social outreach, education, sufferings and experience. For many, your relationship with God, with Jesus Christ or with other spiritual outlooks has been the defining influence in making you the island you are.
Alas, then comes the weather! Not the outside sort, but the inside sort, in our heart and in our moods. Yes, there are sunny days within. But the weather can sometimes be stormy and heavy, with hurricanes of unruly thoughts and desires or thick clouds of sadness and sorrow, or with the unpredictable rains of fear and anxiety.
Yet, you are not the weather inside you. The chatter of thoughts and clutter of painful memories that fill you with seemingly endless feelings of self-doubt or resentment do not actually define you. They try to blind you to the reality of who you are and even want you to believe you are not there at all. But you are there! It is the weather that blows over, not you. It is the weather that is the hoax, not you. You are the handiwork of God, far finer than any Cumbrae! Your eternal value and glory are in his loving and redeeming hands.