Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
THE SLIPPERY SLOPE
I don't feel that our planet needs saving. I think it would regenerate very nicely without us, thanks. Viewed from outer space, the human race is just a parasitical infestation. But there is a difference between a parasite and one of us. A parasite has no concept of the future or the effects of its actions. We have a conscience..... a soul.... a concept of consequence and time. Or at least some of us do. But there are many who deny their consciences and souls, either collectively or individually.
I believe it is us, the human race, who collectively need saving.
When I was a young teenage apprentice in the Royal Navy I loved hill walking in Scotland. One winter day I decided to walk over the mountain ridge between our bothy camp in Glen Esk and Glen Mark in the Cairngorms. On the summit I found myself in thick cloud. I was alone. I couldn't see more than a few yards ahead, but I pressed on over the ice and snow.
The ground was undulating. As I descended one of these slopes I suddenly lost my footing and found myself sliding, with increasing speed, on my back down an icy incline that was becoming steeper and steeper. I then realised that I was on the rounded edge of an escarpment of several hundred feet that dropped almost vertically to frozen loch Carlochy in Glen Mark, far below. I was about to die.
But I had an ice-pick strapped to my wrist. I managed to turn on to my stomach and dig the pick into the ice to stop my slide. Then, very, very carefully, by using the holes in the ice that I could pick out as hand-holds, and then foot-holds, I was able to haul myself slowly back up the slope to a place where I could stand up and walk away from the danger. It was a very close thing.
I believe that as a race we are already on that slippery slope. That it is becoming steeper by the day and that our slide is becoming faster. It is already too late to stop it on our own...... unless we have an ice-pick strapped to our wrist. Then, maybe, if we are very, very careful and strong, we might have a chance.
But what is that ice-pick for the whole human race?
I believe it is God's loving, caring, saving Will. However we perceive God's Will for us, we need to about-face and grasp it, use it as our anchor on the slippery slope, and then as our hand and foot-holds in a slow climb to recovery.
How do we know what God's will for us is? We need to listen, both individually and corporately. That is what we Quakers do in worship.
But we also need to tell the world. It is no good keeping it to ourselves when we find it. If the children of the world are to have any kind of happy future then we as Quakers must join others in leading the Way back to even ground.
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