Every generation seems to recreate the myth of a golden age when all was well with the world, peace and prosperity reigned (or, at any rate, everyone had enough to eat, a job to go to, and a home to return to) and life was tolerable if not actually enjoyable. Of course, the truth has always been otherwise. Except for a very few, life has always been insecure; and even those blessed with material riches have been subject to emotional loss, health scares and natural or man-made disasters. Why, then, do we cling to the idea that life ought to be secure? That security is the norm; insecurity somehow a deviation?
Could it be that inside each of us there is the desire for ‘something more’, the ‘divine discontent’ which leaves us restless until we find ourselves in God? As a Christian, I would certainly agree with that sentiment. The cold beauty of the snowscape around us has reminded me how very fragile our lives are. We so easily forget our vulnerability. Bricks and mortar, money and status, even family and friends can all be taken away; and sometimes it is only when we have nothing and must stand before God defenceless and with empty hands that we realise the truth of the psalmist’s conviction:
O Lord, you search me and you know me,
you know my resting and my rising,
you discern my purpose from afar.
You mark when I walk or lie down,
all my ways lie open to you. (Ps 138)
It is in God’s knowledge and care for us that our security lies.