I was a student in Aberdeen when Piper Alpha happened – and was asked to go in and work in the ARI chaplain’s department while the real chaplains dealt with the aftermath of the disaster.
Next month marks the 25th anniversary of that occasion, and a conference is taking place in Aberdeen for those involved in the offshore industry to see if there are lessons still to be learned from the event.
I find it interesting how things change over a period of time. We give shorthand names to more recent events such as the Zeebrugge disaster, or Piper Alpha, Chernobyl, Desert Storm. We forget the details, but remember that something happened.
We hardly talk about the Great War, but lump it and the Second World War into shorthand of WWI & WWII. I am sure that there are other things that you could bring to mind yourself.
I think we sometimes do that with our approach to God. We either dismiss God altogether, or quench the concept of God into a word used alongside swear words, whether we mean to or not.
God, however is shorthand too. God, shorthand for eternal, mystery, truth, standards, life, love, communion, perfection, salvation!
What is God’s shorthand in you?