It’s too hot!!

I have noticed an interesting phenomenon in recent weeks.  In the regional town in which I live we are often mentioned on the nightly news as having the highest temperature for the day across the state.  If not the highest, then one of the highest.  We have recently had a long run of heat wave conditions.  In fact, for the first 22 days of January we have had 12 days over 40 degrees, and with overnight temperatures not dipping below 28 degrees.

What I have noticed is that it is all anyone talks about.  The weather.  We make comments like “its going to be a scorcher today” or “how are you coping with the heat?” or “is it still terrible outside?”  All of our news media outlets mention it.  It is the headlines in the newspapers.  It seems that we can speak of nothing else.

While there are some of us who enjoy the heat, and others who don’t, none of us appreciates the extremes we have been facing.  It’s as if even the buildings get tired as the air conditioners struggle to reduce the ambient temperature to a more tolerable reading.  For the past two days we have had welcome relief from the extreme heat, and yet the conversations have been around when the next bout is forecast!!  

Now, without getting into a debate regarding climate change and global warming what I have been wondering is why do we do it?  Talking about the weather doesn’t change the fact, its not actually news for those of us having to live through it, and it certainly doesn’t make it any cooler.  And yet we can have lengthy conversations with complete strangers about the heat.

One of my minister friends has used his church noticeboard to further highlight the heat issue, but to also bring in a spiritual element.  For the past week the sign outside his church reads “Still not as hot as Hell”!  While this brought a smile to my face, I have been reflecting on the fact that it seems so easy for us to talk about the weather, but not so easy to talk about spirituality.  How often do I talk about God with people?  Even people from within my congregation?  I have noticed that my conversations very rarely move from the shallows to things of a more eternal nature.

There is a passage in the Bible that says “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” (This can be found in 1 Peter chapter 3 verse 15). So being prepared to give an answer has me trying to think of creative ways to try and navigate these verbal encounters into deeper waters that could have a spiritual impact.  I’d be interested to hear your suggestions, especially noting the need to do this with ‘gentleness and respect’.

According to the forecasts, I have 3 days of ‘preparation’ before the next 40 degree day hits!

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