June 2001
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Rev Richard MARTIN - Minister

The Madeira Cake

Whenever we visit Maidens, my wife enjoys catching sight of The Madeira Cake. Its the name she prefers for the small island of Ailsa Craig, lying off-shore from Girvan in the Firth of Clyde.

This island is also called Paddy’s Mile Stone. It got this name from Irish workers sailing from Glasgow to Ireland, after months of labour in Scotland. Ailsa Craig was their marker. From it, they felt set for home. It can be a pleasant voyage or so very stormy. Even modern ferries will cancel trips until gales drop.

Were those workers of a hundred years ago worried about the storms or did the anticipation of home and family override fears of high winds and turbulent seas?

I pondered the crossing’s similarity to life. Frequently it is a calm, pleasant voyage. Like life experiences we enjoy - satisfying days when everything goes well. But there are those dark, grey days when life blows chill. Days when nothing is right, we are tossed all over the place and it seems we’ll never reach a safe haven.

In the Book of Proverbs [chap.29 vs.25] King Solomon wrote, Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. Most of us know that fearfulness usually trails its problems. How often we hear the advice don’t be afraid. But that’s easier said than done.

A common alternative advised is self-confidence. It often works, but not always. The wise old king, though not without his own errors, knew that Trusting God always led to safety. No storm is too powerful for God to sail against.

Richard Martin

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the Minister on Martins.Maybole@Virgin.net

or telephone: (UK) 01655 88 22 05