10 June 2008

Moving in mysterious ways

I'm reading a book by Christopher Hitchens called God is not great. Amongst other things, it is a critique of the instinctive tendency in humans to see providential signs in the world around us - either of God's approval or disdain, depending on whether an apple falls on your head or a grand piano.

While reading this book on the train yesterday returning to London, I chanced to look up to check how far we were from our destination. At this moment I found myself looking at a billboard on the side of a house adjacent to the railway line that simply read:

PREPARE TO MEET YOUR GOD
A little spooky, I thought. But if Jehovah is trying to speak to me, I'd have thought he'd be a little more up-to-date than using 48-sheet ambient media. In London I transferred stations to head home, and, as I read, things got a little more direct: the overhead electric cable powering our train snapped and wound its way around the pantograph, like a fishing line snaring an angry catfish.
After dragging down a mile and a half of cabling, we had to sit for two hours in our abandoned train before help arrived. As I clambered into the relief train that would take us on our way, I think I realised how Jonah must have felt. And if we had had to wait any longer, the rest of the exasperated passengers might have felt inclined to throw me to the fishes - this being a more reasonable response than expecting a normal service from National Express trains.

1 comment:

PW said...

Remember, Hoffy, the Lord moves in mysterious ways. You make a good point though about the 48-sheet. No point in going to all that trouble - lead-times, expense - when you can just send a thunderbolt. I often think this about the communications from the afterlife that manifest themselves through mediums and spiritualists. Why, exactly, is it so bloody difficult for the spirit world to get in touch. Have they never heard of Skype?