Pew news 24th March 2019

I have followed the BREXIT developments with great interest.  Before Christmas I became so emotionally embroiled in it was not doing me good.  I decided to get hold of a long audiobook to listen to on car journeys instead of the news.  I thought that War and Peace, the massive novel by Tolstoy would do the job.  More than 60 hours of listening later, I’m still going!

War and Peace is set during Napoleon’s wars with Russia from 1805-1812.  Tolstoy’s perspective has helped me think in a much healthier way about the BREXIT process and the baffling range of views about it expressed in the media.  Tolstoy loves to show that the War progressed as it did despite – and even contrary to – the plans of the leaders waging it and the wisdom of those commentating on it. 

Tolstoy compares the powerful people who thought they steered events to a child playing at driving a carriage who thinks he is actually driving it! 

I can’t imagine the strain our political leaders must currently be under, and I’m not certainly not trying to suggest that their work is irrelevant to how BREXIT eventually works out.  But listening to War and Peace has helped me not to take every twist and turn so seriously.  It’s not worth getting too worked up about the pronouncements of politicians and journalists.  They often cancel each other out, and rarely have quite as much influence as we fear.    

Above all, my listening to War and Peace has highlighted to me the importance of prayer.  Mere human beings are not in control on history; but Jesus, the God Man is in firm control of its unfolding.  In prayer, we have direct access to the throne room of ultimate authority (E.g. Rev 5:8) in the name that is above every other name (Phil 2:9).  Jacques Ellul was right when he wrote, “It is prayer and prayer alone that makes history”. 

No one knows what will happen with BREXIT this week – no one, that is, but God.  And no one but he is truly in control.  So let us never fret, but rise above the political fray to pray.