The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

The Eastern Area Sea Cadets Summer Camp 2022 has come and gone. Held at HMS Raleigh and an adjacent base about 100 cadets had good times sailing, powerboating, adventure training, seamanship, electrical engineering, mountain biking, and 6 cadets were there to face an Advancement Board (required for promotion to the final two cadet rates). Everyone is billeted in various quarters and eats at the main Mess and is changing between uniforms and working rigs throughout the day. There were lots of new people – both cadets and staff – because this was the first camp in 3 years (thank you, C-19!) and the camp was not without its moments when there was need for the medical personnel, logistics, support people, the command team, and even a Padre. 

But probably the most notable thing for many of the adults who were billeted in quarters at the opposite end of the camp was the fact that we had no hot water. The boilers were being worked on we were told. I sighed and laughed (just a little) when I heard this piece of news on arrival. I mean there are always the unexpected things that can happen when away and you just ‘go with the flow’ with good humour (hopefully) – but this flow was cold.

It wasn’t all that uncommon to discover that someone had come down to where the cadets and some staff were billeted and use their hot showers. I was too lazy to walk all that way and so it was cold showers for me. Now don’t get me wrong, I like a hot shower but cold showers are not the end of the world and though they are briefer in duration than a hot shower, I found myself thinking on the last day, that I didn’t mind the cold shower. Invigorating. (Please note, I didn’t say I prefer a cold shower! 😉 )

And such is a lot of our living, I dare say. We have our preferences but we have to deal with reality. Life does not go our way all the time. Little things like unexpected cold showers on a camp can be chalked up to an experience. The attitude we bring to reality shapes our days. One could be grumpy about cold showers! (All week!) Of course one doesn’t have to be grumpy! Of course it is different when the reality is very much determined by people’s actions – especially when people are cruel, incompetent, corrupt, and the like – and then we are dealing with what is the right thing to do or should have been done. Nevertheless one’s attitude still shapes how we approach the situation and person and respond. 

When reality isn’t to our liking or preference, remembering that Jesus is with us already in the moment and he won’t abandon us is very helpful. Psalm 46 can be a good perspective for any reality and give us the attitude to help us with reality. The first three verses are …

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,

     though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam,

     though the mountains tremble at its swelling. (Psalm 46:1-3 ESV)

I reckon that sea and the waters roaring and foaming will be pretty cold! 

The rest of the psalm is helpful too. Invigorating!