I survived most of the last twenty some summers without the aid of air conditioning.
This is no small feat, as it gets downright hot here in Southern Oregon.
Over the years both my body and my habits adapted to the heat and I was able to endure the annual roasting with minimal discomfiture.
A couple of years ago, my brother installed air conditioners in the house.
Now, my environment is always cool and comfortable no matter the temperature outside.
Yesterday it was 108 degrees outside, whatever I chose inside.
I was comfortable as can be.
Except now my body and habits have become accustomed to my artificial climate.
I can no longer handle the heat when I go outside.
It makes me miserable, weak, and sick, and I flee back to the place where I control the environment.
The strength I had is gone, replaced with dependence on artificial solutions.
I think I’ve found a metaphor here.
It’s my job.
It’s what I do.
For most of our lifetimes, the church has lived out this metaphor in reverse.
We have been conditioned to comfort, to being able to control our environments.
Now, the machine is broken and the heat is on.
We prefer maintaining the machine to becoming accustomed to the heat.
We want to flee inside to artificial climates where the temperature is cool and the air is clean.
That is not the legacy we inherited from our fathers.
We were born for heat and dirt and pain… we were born to work outside.
We were born for “them”.
We need to grow accustomed to the heat…it is our earthly inheritance.
It’s not comfortable, but the machine is broken beyond repair.
Our next home will be cooler.
Make your own application…
Another exile narrative…
We have grown accustomed to ascendancy
Now we will head off to Babylon…
Blame N.T. Wright… 🙂
I’m not sure we’re headed for Babylon as much as Strasbourg.
A couple of years after arriving in Geneva, Calvin was given the left foot of fellowship and given 24 hours to get out of town.
He fled to Strasbourgh.
Three years later, the town realized they needed him and called him back.
The effects of the “new morality” are going to be such that when they are exposed to the fullest, the culture may decide that Jesus knew what He was talking about after all and beseech His emissaries to return.
It’s cyclical…more akin to a circle than a straight-line destination.
I think mankind will keep rhyming history…just with more advanced technology….until the species goes extinct.
It could very well be that the prophecy in the bible is metaphor and as such, it describes an evolutionary process that will result in “the new heaven and new earth”…could be aliens LOL. Could be that we open cracks in the membranes of other dimensions with the Hadron Collider. Could be that John of Patmos and the prophets were high on LSD.
Thank you Michael. You have a gift for expression as do others here and it’s a blessing to us all.
Thank you, Erunner…I hope it is worth the time of the reader.
definite worth the time, Michael
Thank you, Em. 🙂
em said it well at #8. It’s why we’ve been here so long and why the ones who have left still lurk!
Great post. Easy for Floridians to digest. 🙂
Thank you, Jim.
It’s probably easier for you than us Oregonians…
So agree, Michael. Processing and trying to understand how we do this. How I do this in my space…learning I need to pray and listen much. I tend to be rash, and that is not what we are called to be.
Metaphors abound. I worked in the Florida sun/rain/bugs for 25 years. To do so, you have to get out really early and do the frog in the kettle. It’s 98 with nowhere to hide, and someone leaves an ac’d office complaining. You’re saying, “it’s not too bad today”.
Kinda like saying, “yeah, Beyonce’s a good dancer”….
When the Roman Empire began to falter, it was the outer provinces that suffered first. It took many years before the disruption made life difficult for those living at the center of the empire. For some, it seemed like the empire was doing better than ever, with more glitz and glamour and Coliseum entertainment. So it might be with those in the Evangelical culture.
Those near the outer edges who regularly interact with the “barbarians” will notice the changes and may start suffering much earlier, but they will also have more opportunity to show those outsiders that they needn’t keep living as barbarians. Offer them a more meaningful life.
108? Wuss! Try a different Phoenix! 😉
It’s in the 80’s here in the UK and we are all moaning over the unbearable heat.
Love the metaphors. Of all you write here, you have such a way of expressing Biblical truth with metaphors and self application. BTW, who needs another phone app, I can just come here for Biblical apps, that are much better. I esp. love the kitty apps. God has greatly blessed you to do this. Keep up the great work.
Have a Happy Fourth!
Thank you for the kind words, Dan…have a great 4th.
Wow, Michael! Excellent! My boys used to tell me we lived in a bubble. We shouldn’t think this strange. As a whole, we’ve been living in comfort for a long time. Being uncomfortable causes growth.
Thanks for your thoughts. I always read.
Thank you, Summer…it’s helpful to me when lurkers raise their hands occasionally. -)
Very thought provoking Michael….thank you…I’ve had a hot week, in spite of great indoor air conditioning….. it’s kinda been a ‘burned at the stake’ kind of week.
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.
Michael’s post today was food for thought for sure….
you know that song, “America…, God shed His grace on thee…?”
if one thinks about the history of the human race, we’re a corrupted creation – i thank God for the past 100 years as something was holding back evil for a time – one nation under God didn’t quite work out, but it was a nice idea… and we almost persuaded the race that God’s way was the best way
oh well, Thy Kingdom come, Lord – next year would be good
“We were born for heat and dirt and pain… we were born to work outside” that must be a guy thing…
i’d rather shovel snow than pull weeds… i don’t know what that signifies, exactly… but one thing this heat wave is impressing on me is the fact that i don’t want to go to hell…
1980 — Francis Schaeffer “How Should We Then Live?”
2015 — Conservative Christians “How Should We Now Panic?”
You described So many churches. And so many people.
Truly ministering to others is such a messy business. Casting out demons and evil spirits is the worst.
The comfortable controlled environment eliminates such things.
No one even being allowed to go to the restroom and allowed back in to the sanctuary once they leave etc…
Demons don’t exist in my controlled environment.
Even though the body is built up by what each joint supplyeth, there can only be one leader, me.
The air conditioned me model.
No surprises, just me being comfortable in my controlled environment.
It is chancy to go to the streets and minister outside of my perfect environment.
Things get uncertain and disturb my perfection obsessive compulsion for control.
“Walking in the Spirit,” what’s that?
No, I wanna stay where nothing gets out of my control.
Predictability is perfection day in and day out.
Ah but Paul said, I came to you…(not in word or deed but in the power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost.)
He came to them?
He left his place to go to theirs.
Ship wrecked, beaten, stoned, chased around by those who would do him harm.
All because he came to them…he left his place of comfort, his comfort zone of safety.