Cat's Eyes

Last weekend I preached at the Lund, the Kirkby Lonsdale youth event that meets in a farmhouse. I think 70 young bodies squeezed into that place, and my faith was more blessed for seeing them than theirs was for hearing me. I was one of the first to leave at 10.40pm, while most of them were likely chattering away till the early hours.

On my return journey from the A65 to the A682 between Long Preston and Gisburn, I marvelled at the cat’s eyes, those little lights built into the middle of roads. As soon as I crossed the county boundary into Lancashire, the lights were brighter and better (naturally). Our White Rose cousins must surely marvel at our Red Rose’s technological advancement. These lights were solar powered rather than reflective, which meant they remained bright even when cars’ headlights failed to shine. I was so excited that I pulled over, switched my engine off and stood in the road’s middle that I might better feel the wonder. Some folk climb mountains to get their thrills, others deep-sea dive. I stand on dark country roads to admire the cat’s eyes. Since 1934, they have kept our roads safer, becoming even more vital during the 1940s’ black-out years.

Yet in December 1999, a question about their safety was raised in the House of Lords. 7 months previously, a cat’s eye had been dislodged by a van on the M3, and flew threw the window of a nearby car, killing a passenger instantly. Ironic, that an object that provides safety and light to so many should be the cause of someone’s death. The light of God which so many of us enjoy in this life- via conscience, heritage, creation or evangelism- is likely to be the part of the prosecution’s evidence used against those who failed to believe. The light given to us today might be our undoing tomorrow. The privileges enjoyed this evening will make worse our judgement in the morning.   

And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. Luke 12:47-49