Thursday, May 21, 2015

Not Gonna Let a Little Rain Get in the Way

It's a chilly, rainy, unseasonable day. Fine by me. I'm a bit of a foul weather fiend. Be it snow or hurricane, inclement weather was always a perfect excuse for me to call in sick at my teaching job. The drawback was, I homeschooled. Not only was it ridiculously easy for my employer to get a hold of me, but not going into work was detrimental to me -- the uneducated, indigent, and undeveloped youths being my own, and probably remaining in my basement for the remainder of their natural lives. These days, however, I'm as "sick" as I dare to be, and when the rain comes down, so does my stress level; when the snow falls, my spirit soars.

What is it about climate that can change our moods, our plans, our lives so? There's seasonal affective disorder and bipolar disorder. Some researchers even link the season in which you were born to personality development and the likelihood of experiencing depression. If that's the case, my personality would blow their research right out of the water: born in Autumn but nauseatingly optimistic (optimism is supposed to be a "Summers Only" phenomenon); thunderstorms and snow make me giddy with the anticipation of getting soaked to the bone, or shoveling feet of snow while ice forms in my hair and on my lashes (mildly psychotic, I would guess).

The Bible also talks about a link between mankind and nature:
"And God blessed them. And God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'” ~ Genesis 1:28
"The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it." ~ Genesis 2:15
"That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens."All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy." ~ Romans 8:18-25 (MSG)
The link is stewardship and a common hope. We are to have dominion over the created world, not to be dominated or controlled by it. When dreary days rob us of our joy we have to seek the Creator, our Light and Joy. When natural disasters inflict their worst upon us, we have a Comforter who knows our grief and longs to see us celebrate once again. As stewards who failed our earth miserably by opening the door to death and decay (spiritual and physical), we continue to fail creation: oil spills, litter, exploitation of resources where alternatives are available, neglect and animal abuse, overindulgence. Nevertheless, nature awaits the release and restoration that will come when Jesus returns. As believers, we too should be yearning for that deliverance, and working with the rest of creation to declare the glory of the God we worship!
"“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."     ~ Isaiah 55:12
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