It came as a bit of a shock to receive an invitation to the the Christmas party for the over 60s on the island! Previously, we had attended such events on the mainland not because of our age, but because of the nature of our work. What a great evening it proved to be: the meal was excellent, the dancing and the party fun filled. Yet, Life on Tiree, as on many other Hebridean Islands is not always easy.
This winter, we have become much more conscious of the weather: in particular the wind speed and especially the gusts. Although we have been assured that power cuts are less frequent, the threat looms large when you begin to hear the slates on the roof rattle. With no power, modern means of communication go down, so we keep an old telephone handy. Ferries in the winter are less frequent and are weather dependent. Too windy and from the wrong direction, means the ferry cannot berth. No ferry and no supplies for the shop and no way of getting to and from the ferry port of Oban. Visitors can become storm bound in Oban, or worse still, come out to Tiree and have to turn back without landing, spending perhaps eight or more hours on a storm tossed ship. No plane and there is no mail or flights to the mainland.
Life can be tough in many ways, whether or not you live on a Hebridean island. It can be ‘life on the edge’ (the meaning of Hebrides) no matter where you live. Life throws so many challenges across your path. Who knows what challenges 2014 holds?
Jesus, the Son of the living God, said, “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” When you put your faith in Jesus, to put you right with God, he forgives, gives hope for the future and is ever present. Living life to the full is living life in union with Jesus.
In his 1939 Christmas Day radio broadcast, King George VI, quoted the poem ‘God Knows’ by Minnie Louise Haskins:
And I said to the man
who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light
that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness
and put your hand
into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light
and safer than a known way.”
Happy New Year