Who wants to live in an ice box?

Faithwriters.com challenge – 3 November 2016 – Topic: Chill

Soon after we moved to our new home, my sister and her family came to stay. One day, returning from an outing, she told us they’d been impressed by a message on the road telling drivers to “CHILL”. I had to point out that, rather than a plea by the transport department for careful driving, it actually was an abbreviation for a nearby neighbourhood – “C’HILL” for “Craigshill”.

I see that sign most days as I set off for the office. At first, I thought it was a great message at the start of my day: “be calm and take things in your stride. Relax and enjoy the ride.” But on reflection, I’m not so sure. Life is full of ups and downs, and whilst we may not like to be around people who moan all the time, eternal optimists can be just as tiring.

Solomon says that God “has set eternity in the human heart” (Ecclesiates 3:11 NIV), yet he regularly repeats the phrase, “everything is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). I share his frustration at the tension between a dream and the reality of our messy lives. We get fired up to do something great, only to have our hopes dashed like rain on a bonfire. Maybe we both just need to “Chill.”

The process of chilling slows down the natural decay in living things. We chill things to preserve them: food, medicines, harvested sperm and eggs or donated organs. But who wants to live in an ice box? Jesus said that he came to give life to the full (John 10:10) – surely that must include some passion.

So while I may need to chill while driving, I’ll strive to keep my dreams fired up and put up my umbrella against the rain.

About prophetable

My wife Elizabeth and I were commissioned as Officers (ministers) in The Salvation Army in 1997, and have served in appointments in England and Scotland. Since July 2016 I have been working in The Salvation Army's Scotland Office as combined parliamentary and ecumenical representative.
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