You know that phrase, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes?” That quote–a variation of which is often attributed to Mark Twain–well, it’s meant to be hyperbole, an exaggeration. Yes, weather changes. And, yes, it sometimes changes quite rapidly from rain to sunny and back again. I used to hear that phrase in Indiana. I’ve heard it said about Texas and New England. So, I imagine it could apply to any locale that deals with some crazy weather. However, as I said, it’s MEANT TO BE HYPERBOLE. It’s not supposed to be literally true.
As I begin writing this, it’s a nice Tuesday afternoon in Seward, Alaska. Yet anyone who has been here in the middle of April might wonder if the above phrase could be taken as a spot-on description of what we’ve been experiencing. On Sunday the 19th, for instance, it looked like a nice day and I was planning on walking to church…just two blocks. But as I pulled on my coat “the heavens let loose a torrent of rain” (maybe some hyperbole) and I chose to drive instead. In the few hours I was there we had rain, snow, sunshine and hail. We even had some THUNDER! It was amazing.
But it’s not just that one day that has been the issue. The weather has been such that going out for a run or a walk can be an adventure as we can’t trust what the weather will be like for the 30 minutes we’re gone. And people have made the trip to or from Anchorage or Soldotna and have driven through what seems like 4-5 weather systems along the way.
I know that in Seward we’re used to long periods of rain. We get used to drizzle. But this has been freaky. It seems like every fifteen minutes we have to adjust our expectations and put on a different jacket. On the plus side, it’s given all of us something to talk about.
And I think we can use this as a metaphor for life. I’m not saying that life changes dramatically every fifteen minutes (we can be thankful that it doesn’t). Yet life is full of change. I see it now as my parents get older and my kids get older and I get older. I see it in the ever-advancing technological world. I see it in job opportunities and the cyclical nature of Seward’s economy — the activity of summer followed by the quiet of winter. I see it in the prayer concerns lifted up in church on Sunday as life happens to those I care about. I see it as people move in and out. Something new is always coming.
In the midst of our ever changing weather patterns, in the midst of the various storms and seasons of life, we can hold onto the fact that our God reigns, and our God is constant. Hebrews 13:8 tells us: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” The weather we’ve been having makes me realize, all over again, how much I need that. It’s something to grasp when everything else slips away.
May you hold onto that and find peace and strength in the constancy of our God.
(By the way, in the time it took me to write this it started to snow…hard. Go figure.)