Did your child have tantrums – in public, in the supermarket? Did he lie down on the pavement and refuse to budge? Were you a teenage rebel – doing your own thing, getting into potentially dangerous situations? Are you an adult addict – to alcohol, drugs, gambling or something else? Any of these scenarios suggest that the person concerned may be out of control.

A BBC weatherman used the words ‘out of control.’ Developments in technology and understanding have led to remarkable achievements over which human boffins have a great deal of control – for good or ill. We may feel most secure when we’re in control, so when someone or something is out of control it’s scary – for them and for observers.

What the weatherman actually said was that the weather was “out of our control.” Storm Dennis has hit the UK hard this weekend – just a week after Storm Ciara – and is causing further damage to people, livestock, homes and livelihoods. And it’s out of our control. We can take measures to minimise its effect and patch up the aftermath, but we can do nothing to prevent such phenomena occurring.

If you believe in God as creator, you may also believe that he sustains the universe – at least on the large scale. But how effective is he in the lives of those who suffer as a direct result of adverse climate and weather conditions? Maybe this is where God-given ingenuity and compassion prompts human beings, as his agents on – and of – the Earth, into helping to alleviate harm and work for good in each other’s lives.



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