God provides springtime to thaw winters’ ravages
The entire nation has been experiencing an uncomfortable winter and many have grown weary of it by now. As the winter drags on there have been more than a few lively discussions about climate change. Any discussion of climate change always sparks debate as to whether it is real or imagined, natural or caused by humans. I take the weather one day at a time no matter what may have caused it. I look out the window and there it is. I can’t do anything about it. I just deal with it. If someday down the road we develop the capability to actually control the climate intentionally, we might find that in trying to change the weather we inadvertently cause some other crisis. We might be better off simply trusting the forces of nature that have been created by God as being the best for us in the long run and be content with the weather of the day. On the other hand, there is another kind of atmosphere that we have almost complete control over. When people are interacting we say there is an emotional atmosphere, or that there is a climate, in the room that can be gauged. The emotional climate can be changed and in some cases, things improve when it is done.
Our nation has become increasingly polarized in recent years. This creates an unpleasant emotional climate that leads to political inaction when there is not enough agreement to move forward in any direction. Individuals get caught up in this with postings on Facebook and other social media. It has become very easy to send out every thought as we think it. Sometimes, it might be helpful if we were able to do a better job at filtering our thoughts before putting them out there for everyone to see.
This kind of climate may not be pleasant, but unlike the weather it is one we can change without fear of making things worse. Changing this climate begins with each one of us realizing that we can’t always have our own way, and the only positive way to get along with others is for there to be a little give and take. In a democracy, there must be a willingness to negotiate and compromise. We can’t draw a line in the sand on every issue. Wanting to do whatever we want, whenever we want is how sin first came into the world.
God provides spring to thaw winters’ ravages. Spring brings a slow, even and natural change to the prevailing climate. I look forward to the day when spring returns to thaw the icy polarized climate in our nation. Each of us hold the answer in our hands as we call, write, text or greet one another with courtesy and tolerance for views that differ. Eventually, such a change in climate may make it to the chambers of government with some productive reaching across the aisle.
The Rev. David Almleaf is the pastor of the Grace Lutheran Church in Johnstown.