Scattered attention with an occasional outbreak of brilliance
I am one of those people who just has to watch the weather forecast. The whole ‘must-watch-the-news’ thing is incomplete unless I have also watched the weather forecast. Not to do so would seem somehow irresponsible. Here’s the thing though – the second I have finished watching it, I have absolutely no recollection of what was said! Despite what the weather forecaster might have said about an imminent heat wave, I am perfectly capable of going out dressed for winter as if I had never heard it!
Recent research on preaching suggests that whilst over 90% of those surveyed look forward to sermons, fewer than 20% find that it has any impact on their lives. Not only do they appear to listen to sermons in the way that I watch th weather forecast, but I am left wondering why they look forward to it so much. Is it actually because it is ‘harmless’, and therefore it has no danger of affecting their lives? Alternatively, it might be that they watch it every time with the genuine hope of their lives changing, only to be disappointed. Hopes undulled they come back again and again to the well, longing to slake their thirst.
There is another alternative. Whilst I could never ever tell you about the contents of the weather forecast after it is broadcast, I have occasionally been known to take some subliminal notice of it. Once in a while I have slung a coat in the boot of the car or adapted my travel plans because of the weather forecast without actually remembering a single word the forecaster said. Maybe people’s lives are actually changed by preaching, without them noticing it?
Or maybe that is just an outbreak of sunny optimism on my part…