As a small boy I remember being given a kaleidoscope as a gift.
In the days before iPads, IPhones, personal computers or even electronic calculators it was a thing of wonder. It was like a telescope but at one end it had two Perspex discs with small multicoloured plastic fragments sandwiched between them. You shook it to move the plastic shrapnel, then looked in the other end to see the fantastic pattern.
But the fun didn't stop there! Inside the tube were mirrors in a triangle shape so by turning the end of the kaleidoscope the pattern kept changing. Once you got bored imagining great adventures in the psychedelic world you had created you simply turned the end and you could discover new imaginary worlds in the shapes it made.
I know what you are thinking. If you are over 50: "I had one of those." If you are under 50: "Simple thingsplease simple minds." If you are under 30” ,”hat planet are you on?"
Karens blog last week got me thinking about how things change. One week we are coasting along as European citizens and the next we are "Brexiteers". A twist of the kaleidoscope and the picture changes.
I don't know about you but I was a bit bewildered by the whole thing. On one side people who seemed know what they were talking about making bold "factual" claims about what would happen if we stayed while on the other side other equally confident and shouty people made similarly bold and "factual " claims about what would happen if we left. The reality was just too complex to distil into TV sound bites so it began to be a choice based on those you liked the look of or those you believed were being truthful and had some insight that you didn't. The problem was that there seemed to be as many (or few) of those on both sides of the argument. No one had done this before, there was no one to follow so it appeared easier in many ways just to stand back and let it all wash by. Let the decision be made and then worry about the consequences.
I suspect that is how a lot of people deal with a lot of the big complicated questions in life. Faith, life after death, heaven, hell, God. So many people say so many conflicting things with equal confidence and how do you decide who is right? After all who really knows? Why not just let it all wash by? Wait and see what happens.
Well whatever way you voted last week you are still leaving Europe. With much more certainty you will one day "leave" this life. There is no "remain" option. When that happens it would make sense to have already thought about what that means for you. To help you decide I can do no better than point you to the bible, God's word. It says very simply: "people are destined to die once, then to face judgement."* No political fudging. No room for misunderstanding. Clear simple and to the point.
So what do we do then? Who has the answers? Well in this case someone has been there before. Someone has the personal experience and is able to guide us in a way no other person can. Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.** Again no fancy talk, no persuasive words. Just a simple statement you can choose to accept or not. I have no need to try and convince you of their truth. That is God's work. If you ask him he will.
Surely that makes more sense than just waiting for another turn of the kaleidoscope?
* Quoted from the bible. Hebrews Ch9 v 27 (NIV)
**Quoted from the bible. John Ch14 v 6 (NIV)