The weather has gotten mighty toasty here in California – with temperatures well into the triple digits – and has caught many of us non-desert-dwellers by surprise. After all, when our temperatures usually range from the mid-60s to the low 80s for most of the year (with a few rare exceptions), weather reports like this can be quite startling:
In addition to the heat, we are also contending with a rough spate of extremely poor air quality, due to some not-yet-controlled fires burning to the north of us. We have been cautioned by the news media and health experts alike to stay indoors and cut down on anything that would make the pollution situation worse.
For me, this means going to lower elevations – and I mean this quite literally, as my apartment is on the third floor – and spending significant portions of the past two days at my mother’s house, where she has centralized air conditioning (I have a small AC unit in my apartment, but it pales in comparison to the cool-in-every-room wonderfulness that can be found at my Mom’s house).
However, given my respiratory issues, I know that I have to keep my time outdoors to an absolute minimum, and wear a protective mask for the short jaunts from my apartment to the car, and from the car to my Mom’s house. Better safe than sorry, right?
So anyway, this has all been exposition for the thing for which I am most grateful today: this heatwave. Pretty ironic, don’t you think?
Of course, I am not happy about the hot weather and the poor air quality. I certainly can do without those things, and will be grateful when the cooler weather returns in a few days, Lord willing.
What I do appreciate about this time is that it forces me (and others) to slow down in a big way. When it’s this hot outside, you truly are limited in what you can do – and what your body can tolerate – without taking significant health risks.
So I planned for the heatwave as best I could. Before setting off to my Mom’s house, I carefully packed a bag with my laptop, a handful of books, and a big bottle of water.
You may have heard me mention in previous posts that I do not watch television – in fact, I recently terminated my Netflix subscription because I wasn’t really using it. However, at my Mom’s house, she has so many cable channels that I do allow myself to check out a couple of shows. Today, I treated myself to the first episode of Planet Earth II, narrated by David Attenborough.
Let me tell you – if you need some perspective on your life and also want to admire God’s creative handiwork in nature, check out the show. I really am looking forward to watching the rest of the series!
After finishing the first episode, I then took an hour or so to listen to some podcasts. I enjoyed learning from solid Bible teachers like Steve Schell, Greg Laurie, and Rick Warren while I simply reclined on the bed and closed my eyes.
Following this, I took some time to read. I picked up a book that I have not looked at in quite awhile, and decided to start from the beginning. If it has not already become apparent to you, my interests are numerous and varied (as yours likely are, too), so it should surprise no one that I’m reading something called The Secret Language of Color: Science, Nature, History, Culture, Beauty of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Violet by Joann and Arielle Eckstut. It’a a great coffee table book (lots of pictures), and I made it through the surprisingly technical first chapter. Thankfully, the succeeding chapters look to be much less intense!
Anyway, I couldn’t help but chuckle while reading it, because if humankind can barely come to terms with (and fully explain) how and why God uses color, what makes us think that we have really mastered or understood anything else? What we, as humans, are able to comprehend of God’s creative genius is the smallest – nearly invisible, really – tip on the “Divine Iceberg” Who has no beginning or end. There is so much that the Lord still has to teach us if we are willing to learn from Him! But I digress.
I then repeated this process: watching something different, listening to two more podcasts, and then it was finally “cool” enough (at 90 degrees!) to head back home.
Yes, my apartment was hot when I returned, but it is cooling down as we speak. And do you know what? Despite the heat and poor air quality, I had a peaceful, relaxing, and enriching day. I look forward to more of the same tomorrow – plus church in the morning.
Dear God, thank You for a good day despite the unpleasant conditions outdoors! I’m grateful that I had a cool and comfortable place to go on such a warm day, and engaging things to do to pass the time. I pray that others are able to keep cool and safe during this heatwave, too.
I’m also thanking You in advance for the cooler weather tomorrow – only 98-100 degrees, which is still a relief from the 109 degrees we experienced today! – and for the return to the typical weather that we enjoy, forecasted to arrive in a few days’ time. Hallelujah! 😂 In Your name I pray, Amen.