Sunday, 24 July 2016

Evolutionary questions

Today, I was in Alcossebre for the Eucharist. My fourth Sunday already, how time flies! I drove down early, before the congregation arrived. There was a noticeable increase in cars in the free parking lot on the edge of the town centre, to be expected as Spanish and French holidaymakers flock in after the end of the school term. It seems that many Brits travelling south by car are still queuing in Dover to get out of the country.

I sat on a pleasantly cool stone bench in the shade of a tree near the church shop while I waited for others to gather. There were twenty of us for the service, and I enjoyed preaching about the Lukan version of the Lord's Prayer. Afterwards, I drove to Peñiscola behind churchwarden Ron, to take communion to his wife Jenny at home. She's still confined to the house, awaiting joint replacement surgery. It was nearly four by the time I sat down to lunch at home. Not that I minded being later than usual. I don't seem to get that hungry in the heat.

In the evening, Clare and I talked for an hour on Skype, and at her behest I resent the invitation with travel instructions to a dozen people we know will be coming to our Golden Wedding party in just under two weeks from now. Co-incidentally an email arrived today from one who'd mislaid the emailed instructions, so this was well worth doing. All I have to do is learn to be patient whenever the internet connection drops from being normally slow to very slow, as it does from time to time. 

We've come to take reliability for granted since fibre optic communications began to spread in Britain. In other places, investment priority seems to have switched to mobile internet services, but Britain has developed both, and it's just as well to have not only extra capacity, but a different kind of capacity for communications, as our world now continually shifts volumes of data that would have only been thought of in science fiction stories a few decades ago.

It's amazing to think of the different social and cultural evolutions I've experienced my lifetime, due to the technological innovations that have taken place. Will the rate of change be sustained, are there limits to the potential for growth and development? How are we going to cope with inevitable setbacks for humankind due to the impact of global warming, the gulf between haves and have-nots population growth, and the competition for finite resources? Possibly we have the equipment and even some of the ideas to address these challenges. Does humankind have the moral and spiritual substance, and sufficient collective will to accomplish the task, before problems overwhelm us?

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