Wednesday, July 13, 2016

“Strangest problems of life seem clearing; but clouds sweep between--Is my journey’s end coming?” ― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

A fellow here in our office was recently sharing with me a little story about some close friends. They were greatly impacted by the torrential rains and flooding we experienced a few weeks back. At that time, they were hoping it would not rain anymore, anytime soon. He said he talked to them the other day and they were desperately seeking and praying for rain to help alleviate this scorching heat wave. What a difference a string of 100 degree plus days makes with a hot wind thrown in for good measure! From flooded out to praying for rain. That pretty well describes the human thought process on this Wednesday, July 13, 2016. I can identify with those folks. It's not being fickle, it's dealing with the reality of life which is unfolded on a minute by minute basis, 24 hours per day. As we all know, quite a lot of our time in this old world is spent honing our coping skills. How many times have I uttered those words, "I never thought I would be dealing with ......? (Fill in the blank) While we like to throw around those trite sayings like the only things certain in life are death and taxes, we recognize that with all the unforeseen challenges that come our way, we need something more to keep us grounded and focused. That something is actually Someone. The wife and I know the sentiment expressed by the people who were devastated by the floods. Been there and done that. I remember as we dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, many people asked how in the world we were able to deal with all the challenges we faced. I know what our response was then and it's still the same today, "If the LORD had not been my helper, I would soon rest in the silence of death." (Psalm 94:17) Amen.

I am aware that I was using weather again as the icebreaker to get us up and running today. Icebreaker. That's a good one when you consider kids are out trying to see if they can really fry an egg on the sidewalk. At one time it was thought the 'break the ice' idiom was connected to steam powered ice breaking ships. However, they discovered it was around many years before those ships were invented. In 1678, Samuel Butler wrote a poem that had this line, "To give himself a first audience, After he had a while look'd wise, At last broken silence, and the ice." Who knew? I'm talking about ice here hoping it will help us all to cool off a little. I can remember at one time I could visualize the cold and it did help me deal with the heat. Living here in this region, I may have used up that technique because nowadays when I am out in the heat, thinking about snowstorms and igloos does not seem to help so much. Maybe the switch is worn out on my 'mind over matter' mechanism. I'll add that one to the list of things that could use some repair. Meanwhile, if talking about ice on a hot day helps you, then I say go for it. Or, we can all join those folks mentioned above in seeking God's provision of some much-needed rain. Amen.

A preacher paused recently and asked the congregation to take a moment to say a word of thanks for central air conditioning. I hear folks all the time talking about how that without it we could not live. Really? I grew up without it, therefore, I do know that it is possible to live without it. In fairness, we did have a huge attic fan when we lived with my grandparents. It was a sad time each evening when Paw Paw Mac got up around 10:30 p.m., went to the restroom, and on his way back to bed, he shut down the fan. It was to save electricity. We were already stuck to the bed sheets from the hot and damp humidity, and with no air moving, we had a long night ahead of us. But, I'm here today throwing electronic words on the page which says people can live without it. Or, they were in the past able to live without it. Here in our area of the country, elderly people have been known to die because of their houses being shut up, without air conditioning, and they suffered a heat stroke. I didn't have a problem pausing to thank God for central air. No problem at all. I can even remember the first time I stayed with someone who had a window unit in the bedroom where we slept. As a kid, I may not have known that much about how things are in heaven, but, that sleepover gave me a sense of a foretaste of glory divine. We've lived in our current home for over thirty years. We are more than fifteen years into our second central air unit. I worry about how hard it works. I hear the grunts and groans. Thanks to the memory of Mr. Will Carrier who gets credit for the modern air conditioning system which he got up and going back in 1902. I call my growing up in a small rural town my own version of the good old days, however, I would not include all those years without air conditioning as being highlights of pleasantness. Stay cool and enjoy the rest of your day, and may God bless one and all. Amen. ...More later.

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