Tag Archives: Middle East

Where is God?

Where is God?  A question you might ask given calamatous events all around the world, and even in our own communities.  A question that deserves some thinking, and if I may be so bold, some words.  Not answers because the question is too big for answers, but lets see where words take us in this blog.

Your response to the question will probably depend on whether you view God as a divine figure, a father or parent, a heavenly being perhaps, or whether your consider the concept of God to be a human construct, one created out of human experience, expressed in language in an endeavour to make sense of the realities of this world.

My particular thinking is the latter.  Not for me the God of the parking space (this is when you get in your car to go to town you pray to God that a parking space will be created just for you when you get to the supermarket even if you happen to change you mind on the way and got to the mall instead).  Sorry, this divine being, holding the fate of individuals in her/his hand, doesn’t do it for me.

I’m at the stage in my journey where I see the hand of God (a human construct), the work of the divine, in the world around me expressed in the everyday pleasures and calamities of and through people.

When we look at Japan or Libya or Christchurch or our neighbourhood we see ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  Motivated by compassion, justice and love they are in there rescuing people they’ve never seen before, caring for neighbours they wouldn’t normally talk to, making a stand for those people in their community who are oppressed or suffering or down trodden or excluded.  And it doesn’t have to be  mighty works –  love as shown in a kind word, a cup of tea,or  a phone call is God seen in our lives.

So for me God is there, not making this cracked earth shake and quiver, not sending rolling waves of water crashing into villages, but rather encouraging and uplifting people to help and rescue and comfort people.  God is in the hearts of the children down the road baking cup cakes for Christchurch; in the strong arms of the firemen working in dangerous conditions to pull people out of buildings; in the brains of the engineers selflessly working to contain the nuclear reactors in Japan.

Go God!

ps I’m not sure where God fits into the lives of Hurricanes supporters:-(

pps Obviously these words don’t explain death and distress and pain as epitomised by starving children dying because the leaders of their nations are corrupt and tyrannical or families in NZ torn apart by the scourge of drugs such as P. I’m not sure that the concept of a father figure God can explain that either.  To me it lies within (there’s a church song that says “the kingdom is within you”) and so we each have the ability, the capacity, to be a source of good in the world or to be a source of bad.  Jesus certainly shows us which is the better way.

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Technology and Food

How will you cope if the supermarkets in your community are unable to open? What will you eat? An interesting question given that the people of Christchurch have been experiencing just that in recent days?

One thing I miss from my childhood is the easy access to fresh food that our family was fortunate to have. I was brought up on a small farm just outside Hastings where my parents grew crops for J Wattie Canneries. Peas, all sorts of beans, asparagus and tomatoes were staple crops along with peaches, sweet corn and potatoes. I enjoyed being able to pick vegetables and eat them fresh, nothing like what you now get in the shops. The tangy white juice from sweet corn eaten on the cob (raw) is never matched by the flavour of processed corn. Eating a tomato off the plant in the paddock is a treat and being able to pick and eat peas off the vine in the paddock is, well, probably what I miss most.

We’ve developed a society where we are so many steps away from our food that when disaster strikes we are not able to fend for ourselves. Vegetables and fruit in our local super markets is grown hundreds of kilometres away even though you can go down the road and see a farm that once grew these things now covered in grape vines. Tins of peaches and tomatoes on the shelves contain fruit grown in China or Spain or Australia, rarely these days in New Zealand and, I suspect, not here in Hawke’s Bay. Tinned apricots, once the hall mark of Central Otago, are now imported from overseas.

This food chain depends on technology in so many ways that when something happens to disrupt that technology chaos ensues and we are left struggling. The transport chain is now so extended that it is, in my view, fragile. I worry about current events in the Middle East and the potential impact they will have on oil supplies because they will translate into another oil shock and the resulting crisis for New Zealand will, in my view, be something we have never experienced before.

My frustration is that I don’t have a simple answer. The world isn’t simple anymore and while the idea of going somewhere remote and getting back to basics sounds appealing, it’s not a practical solution. Te Radar tried it but I can’t see myself coping anywhere nearly as well as he did in that situation.

From time to time I grow some veges in pots but I won’t survive long on what I produce

My Vege Garden

I think I’ll settle for checking the cans of food and bottles of water I’ve got stored in my emergency kit in the garage and continuing to hope that any disaster doesn’t last longer than my tolerance of baked beans and peaches.