Who would have guessed

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I have just been in the garden. First time in a week. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the garden, I have just not been up to it. Our garden might as well be a million miles away sometimes because the effort it takes me to get out into it can defeat me. Anyway, I am not writing a sad piece. I was in the garden enjoying the sunshine when out of the blue sky came raindrops. Where did they come from? There were a few clouds, so it wasn’t an over zealous neighbour with a hose. It wouldn’t be so bad but the BBC said no chance of rain. Now it comes to something when you can’t trust the weather forecast. I have opened a can of worms there. We have a friend from our days in Nailsea who used to be a meteorologist before he retired. He spent time all over the world studying the weather and he was always very defensive of how accurate modern weather forecasts are. I know they are much better than they used to be, but they are not infallible.

I have been known to mess around with my family over the BBC weather forecast and either deny it’s raining because the BBC app says it isn’t. Or claim it must be because the BBC app says it is. I have put my brolly up on a sunny day because the BBC says it raining and vice versa. But we all know that the weather forecast is not perfect. It makes loads of mistakes. I certainly wouldn’t take it totally on face value, other than as a joke. But it is a good pointer.

All mathematical modelling is the same. It takes historic data and current data and predicts based on that information. It is making assumptions based on where things were and are. Let me make one statement I think we can all agree on. You cannot tell the future from the past or present.

I love sci fi and always have a great laugh looking back at certain things from sci fi programmes that predicted future events. One thing that still gives me a great chuckle is Star Trek The Next Generation. In that show they had a computer which took up the whole of its rather huge bridge and it had, wait for it, a one terabyte storage capacity. As they described it, ‘the size of a planet, enough storage to store all the information in the universe.’ Well I have a 5 terabyte hard drive in my PC and it is nearly full of photos and video. Hmmm, not all knowledge in the universe then.

Another humorous thing to look at in sci fi is phones. When phones were getting smaller, sci fi shows had them really small. Now they are getting bigger they have them integrated into people. Before the internet was imagined, communication or connectivity was not imagined as important so sci fi never really dealt with it, now it’s a common theme. People couldn’t imagine connectivity before it existed. Even portable computers were not able to be imagined. Early sci fi like the first Star Trek had portable devices that linked to the main computer on the space ship. Then on The Next Generation some say they invented the idea of electronic books, and in a way they did. But look again. Each book has a separate electronic device, a massive one at that. Far away from the small Kindle with 1000’s of books on it.

But the future is not just made up of things we create or invent. There are natural disasters, events, illness, accidents things happen both good and bad, so many life and world events. The future is a whole combination of events many of which we cannot forsee.

The point is that we always see the future in light of the past. Who would have guessed that the next thing after Brexit would be a pandemic. Likewise in our own lives who sees the illnesses, or other major life events before they come. I have been surprised by each major change in my life. So I have given up trying to guess the future, that’s doesn’t mean don’t plan or prepare. But we can’t know for certain what will happen next. I guess it does mean, don’t be anxious. Jesus said “can any of you by worrying add a single hour to the span of your life?” Worry is fruitless. All it does is rob you of sleep and of joy. Yes plan, prepare and be sensible, but do not worry and be anxious.

The future has not yet happened. We don’t know what it will be. One thing is certain some things in the future will surprise us others we may expect. But do not be anxious.

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