In Or Out
Did anyone know the EU Referendum took place this week? The decision was whether to stay in or leave. In or Out. There were only two options.
I wonder how you would have voted?
In Scotland, 16 and 17 year olds got the vote. But not in England. If they had been able to vote, the result would have been different.
The Cairngorms is the largest National Park in Scotland and the whole UK. It's has a semi-Arctic kind of weather at times in winter. Winter is an exciting time in the mountains. Snow changes the landscape completely. What looks like a normal hill one minute changes into a winter wonderland - or something quite intimidating. Especially when there is a whiteout. A whiteout is where everything is white and it’s very hard to tell where you are! It can make people go dizzy! I think that’s probably how a lot of people felt about the EU Referendum.
So when we had our whiteouts we needed to know where we were. In order to know where we were in the whiteout, we needed to know where we were all the time! So that took accurate navigation. It meant 2-3 of us knowing where we were and agreeing, each using a compass and a map plus occasionally a GPS app on the phone. Without this knowledge a whiteout can be dangerous around mountains with big drops.
In or Out
But back to this in and out business.
It got me thinking about my tent. A tent is made up of two layers - an inner layer and an outer layer. Some of them need the inner part to go up first (called 'being pitched'). Other tents need the outer bit to be pitched first.
I used to have a tent that pitched outer first. I once camped on Dartmoor as I walked north to south and it was like carrying a 100 bags of potatoes - it was so heavy! So I decided to get another tent which is great because it pitches the inner and outer layers together.
In - Out - God?
Now I’m a Christian as you probably realise and I believe that God loves each one of us individually and with a love that no human can match. I believe that this is the most satisfying thing in life. I’ve done lots of things in my life and messed up at times. While I was involved in football hooliganism, my brother was out in Africa helping children, building a school and making a difference. So when one day he was killed in Africa, I had a choice to make and I chose God.
Some people say God is not real but I’ve seen people with back pain healed, a lady with blind eyes see, know of many others healed from HIV, cancer, pain, foot problems. I also know of football hooligans and once violent gangsters with their lives turned round by the power of God.
To me, the best thing is about God is that we’re together. Me and God as a team. Jesus said something amazing when he walked the earth. He said that he came to give life to the full and to turn bad things round for good. He said that he was the way, the truth and the life. He said that the fullest life possible is available when you ask God. And that’s what he’s done in my life. So I challenge you to ask God if he's real. Ask him to show you.
And remember that what makes us strong as people in our country is that we work together, despite our differences and beliefs. Just like my tent pitches inner and outer together and is stronger for it, so we should work together.