Sunday, July 13, 2014

Our Lives are like... the Weather???

A Moment of Insight at the Red Light

This summer has been a roller coaster at times. Rather than the “Get hot and stay there” of some years, we’ve had warm days, cooler days, hot days, back and forth. After a too-cold-for-too-long-without-a-break winter, I think people are reluctant to complain as it hasn’t been terrible, and if it’s hot, there are cooler days in the forecast, so lots of breaks. 

Until today…..  it’s been hot for days, but “TOO HOT” today. The weather outside is so oppressively hot and humid that the weatherman called it steamy.   Currently, it’s 96 degrees, hot even for us, with high humidity… don’t even want to know the heat index as I know it’s well over 100. (Our average high for this date is 88.)  But we’re saved from sheer torment by the constant breeze. It’s a brisk breeze, the kind you have at the beach, but breeze or not, the air is just plain hot. 

As often happens in the summer, the increasing humidity will build up until the air finally says, “Okay, I’ve had it. Take this!” and with a rumble of thunder, it begins to rain. Forecasters are calling for pretty bad storms with hail, gusty winds, lightning, and rain… lots of rain.  In the next day or so, we’re expecting about 2” of rain – just what the gardens need.

But afterwards? Business as usual? Nope. We’re being treated to unseasonably cool weather for days. They’re calling for HIGHS in the 70s for a few days beginning Tuesday! Oh, the joy!  

Sitting at a red light about an hour ago, I watched what appeared to be waves of heat rising from the asphalt. (There’s a scientific explanation about this mirage but it’s been decades since I sat in science class, and chances are, didn’t understand it at the time anyway.) All I know is that until I take some time off to get my air conditioner serviced, I must drive with the windows down and it’s really hot when the car isn’t moving. 

 As I waited, the hot air stifling me, I thought of the forecast and suddenly realized it’s like our life journeys, all in a weather forecast! We just go along from day to day, noting the ups and downs, good days and bad, but not getting too bent out of shape over it.   Just as today’s heat is a hardship for some and annoying for many, it represents the hardships and bad times in life.  It could be something physical we deal with, or stress at work or with the family, but there are times when we struggle.  Some struggles are outwardly visible, like a job loss, or a medical diagnosis. Other struggles may be fought silently, with mental stress and uncertainty, perhaps even wrestling with our faith. Just as in a storm, we are rarely alone, even if it seems that way. God is there... always.

Then, as tears pour out, literally or figuratively, we are soaked. Afterwards, we could be drained or exhilarated, but not left untouched.  Then, the heat is gone… life calms down, and there’s a period of better times ahead. Problems aren’t gone, but under control.  The roller coaster ride of the weather forecast is like our lives, up and down, swaying a little from side to side, scary at times, and thrilling at others. 

So that was my insight. The light turned green and I continued my journey… but I may never look at a weather forecast in quite the same way again.

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