Because Life can only be lived a moment at a time.

A Change in the Weather

Mr. Pettit and I have had homes across the U.S.: As far west as California, as far east as Virginia, as far north as North Dakota and as far south as south Texas. And the weather in all those places and every stopping point in between had one thing in common: It could change faster than you can say, “I finally got my car washed!”

In each location Mr. Pettit and I have heard some version of this statement: “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” Wherever you go, the locals believe that theirs is the only place where in a matter of hours temperatures can plummet or skyrocket or sunny skies can be replaced by blizzards or hailstorms or torrential rains. I suppose we all like to think our home is unique, even in a negative way. When we lived in North Dakota a popular saying held that, “Forty below keeps out the riff raff,” although we never experienced ambient temperatures that low. Then again, I never encountered riff raff either.

Fox News Alert: Weather changes. That’s why we have meteorologists on the radio and TV who vacillate between happy chit-chat with their fellow anchors and grim pronouncements of “Save yourselves!” 

We roll with the punches when the wind blows and clouds move in. We might grumble but we take appropriate action: Drag out sensible shoes or boots, pull on the parka, plug in the engine block heater (a must when the temps drop into the double digits below zero), unfurl the umbrella or even leave town.

We don’t bother arguing with the sky.

But that’s exactly what we do—-no, let’s be honest, what I do—when faced with change in other areas. I ask God if He really knows what He’s doing. And if the change is abrupt? Sweet fancy Moses! I’m frozen in place as I process the shift in direction, whether it’s positive or negative. I might as well have that old hourglass icon floating above my head, turning over and over as I try to grab hold of the situation.

2018 promises to be a year of change for Mr. Pettit and me. I worry about the road ahead, never mind the unforeseen zig zags that surely await us.  The status quo isn’t perfect but it is familiar. 

But if I turn my gaze outward for even a moment I’m forced to acknowledge that every person on the planet will have to contend with changes in the days, weeks and months ahead. Some transitions will be expected while others will appear suddenly, floating in like feathers or slamming home like anvils. 

When I scan the horizon I'm on the lookout for anvils.

But when I'm bracing for blows that may never come I miss out on the beauty of the moment. So I remind myself to shift my focus to Jesus, Who does not change. As the writer of Hebrews put it, He is "the same yesterday and today and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8, RSV) That constancy in itself wouldn't provide much comfort if it were not characterized by love.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
    his mercies never come to an end; 
 they are new every morning;
    great is thy faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:22-24 (RSV)

That hope can sustain you and me through whatever storms 2018 may hold. And it will make the sunny days that much sweeter.



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