OUR latest community column is written by local minister, Rev Ian Miller.

* * * * * * * * * *

MANY years ago I visited Interlaken in Switzerland on a camping holiday with another couple. The girls went off to have a shower and the other guy and I stayed with the tent.

We watched as the whole scene before us changed, clouds swooped down from the Alps, the wind howled and swirled around us. The tent began to move and we held on like grim death.

Hail began to fall on us – we were inside the tent holding on the frame, our knuckles pounded by hailstones at least the size of marbles. I had the notion that we could be hurled into the air very much like Dorothy in Kansas – and I was pretty sure that our landing would not have been as pleasant as the one Dorothy had when she found herself in the land of Oz. I tell you I was scared.

The Bible tells us that once there was a storm on the lake of Galilee, and the people in the boat were scared. It tells how Peter opted to go for a walk on the sea, putting his trust in God. However strong your belief, what a risk that was!

I am sure that you have heard the story of the Scottish tourist who once visited the Holy Land. One night, he decided to take his wife on a boat trip on the Sea of Galilee.

READ MORE: Opinion - 'Healing Process is vital tool as NHS Highland tackles staff bullying'

He asked a man in a rowing boat how much the trip would cost. The man, presuming our tourist was a rich American, quoted him twenty-five dollars. At which the Scotsman – fully living up to the old stereotype – walked away and said: “Now I know why Jesus walked.”

Peter took a risk when he walked on water. But there are plenty of risks we should not take. During Covid we’ve seen plenty of people taking risks, and we’ve seen the consequences of those. Not clever.

But now and again there comes a time when you must step out of the boat. No new relationships would be formed if you didn’t. No new businesses would be started. No new homes would be built if we did not take a risk every once in a while.

President Kennedy said: “Change is a law of life. Those who look only to the past are certain to miss the future.”

I think that post Covid, society will change. I think the Church will change – will have to change – if it wants to survive.

Change is upon us. Are we up for it – in church and in society?