Ok –where you live, the idea of the outdoor temps being 80 degrees by 7:15am may not be so tough for summertime. However, the average high for Fargo, North Dakota in any day in July should be right around 83 degrees – a nice, warm summer day. Granted, that’s the average, so that means almost as many days in July could be a bit hotter, and some a bit cooler – for the high temperature for say, July 28.
As I enjoy my breakfast of bran muffins and coffee, I’d like to have the window open, and just enjoy some cool summer morning breezes blow through. Granted, there are indeed summer breezes this morning, but they are blowing 80 degrees, even after a wonderful early morning rain of nearly 1/3 of an inch. Usually that just cools everything down for the day – someone must have turned the water up to at least warm, because it ain’t cool – I can tell you that much.
So, the windows will be closed all day, as we take the temperature rocket up to the upper 90s before the day is over. You know, in years past, it always seemed like that second week of August was the scorcher, but our average high temperatures in July this year have been sitting right around 93 degrees. We are actually looking forward to it cooling down in August, when the forecast at least gives us temps much closer to what is normal, but this year will feel like a nice cooling off – only around 85 degrees, most likely.
Now, I’m not a whiner. I also know that all across our fair land, there is a ton of heat, for some reason. Dallas, for instance, will be 97 degrees today, a very hot day, but not unusually so for the lone star state. Four degrees warmer, when the city is 1100 miles south of here? That’s about four changes in growing zones – with the temps we are having this summer, we should be growing crepe myrtles and azaleas…
So, we hunker down inside our climate controlled homes, only creeping out to get into our climate controlled cars and drive to the climate controlled grocery stores to get our provisions. What’s funny, is that in about 6 months, we will be doing the very same thing, except instead of dodging near 100 degrees, we will carefully walk over the salt-encrusted sidewalks, hopefully to the car that needs no scraping of ice or frost, and make our way down the same streets to the same grocery store, except we do our best to spend as little time as possible in -15 degrees, with windchills easily in the -40 range. It really is quite remarkable that our cars function pretty well with 140 degrees shift in temps in 6 months. OF course, when we wish the sky would pour forth in rain right now – almost every day – in 6 months, we will be wishing it just won’t snow any more – at least for a month or so, since it does no good for anyone or anything, including animals. We should make up some t-shirts that say, “Rain Good – Snow Bad…”
I suppose, however, that there are few things in creation that invite us to be more philosophical than the changes of weather. It rains every afternoon in Hawaii, it seems, but they also hardly worry about screens on their windows, and the only storm windows are for the rare Pacific hurricane. But of course, Hawaii has no fields of wheat that are 500 acres wide, and you will never hear about the sugar beet and potato harvest in progress in the fall. Sure – pineapples and macadamia nuts, but when was the last time you had a nice hot serving of Swedish meatballs to warm you up in Hawaii on a cold January evening?
We are where we are, and we live where we live. The daily celebration of life in each of our lands invites us each day to stand in wonder, and even awe, of how God cares for us, and brings the weather we need, or that we can stand, and now ad then, the days that maybe even drive us a little crazy, but that’s only to reassure us that the schedule and the creation of the weather each day is not in our hands, and never has been.
I’ll pull the steaks out to be grilled on Sunday – it’ll be 83 at the high point, with nice northerly breezes. Should be a great day to be out on the back patio, enjoying the perfect day God will provide. As for today – well, we might not think it to be quite so perfect, because we are picky, but we can be reassured that it is truly the day that the Lord has made – even when it’s 93 outside. What remains is for you and me to rejoice, and be glad in it. You know next Winter we will be longing for a sweltering July afternoon….
Word for the day: jeremiad. Pronounced DJER-uh-MY-ad. This term is an offshoot of one of our Biblical personalities, Jeremiah. The prophet Jeremiah, I have to say, was quite the whiner. Born around 650BC, most of his life was spent condemning the Hebrews for their false worship and a broken society. There is even an entire book of the Bible called Lamentations – Jeremiah’s lament on the state of the Hebrew world, just before the captivity in Babylon. He’s kind of a pessimist, but some would say that was his calling. Not someone you often will put at the top of the party list, for sure.
A jeremiad, then, is a prolonged lament or complaint – originally seen as a warning to the people of what was to come, but today… is just more a complaining spirit. Lots of two-year-olds, and teenagers are expert jeremiads – as are others who have decided they would rather be petulant than humble. Not a great adjective to be connected with your name…
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.