Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Calm Before The Storm

I've lived in Houston eighteen years and I am constantly amazed by weather predictions which I absolutely understand is an inexact science. Last week, we were preparing for an extended period of flooding. My best guess is we might have received an inch or two at most. The following is from January 16, 2007.

Bob Dylan gave them their title. In the late 1960's through the middle 1970's, the Weathermen were a radical student group pledged to bring about societal and governmental change in the United States through a variety of methods, some of them violent. Their name was lifted from a line in Dylan's rambling album cut, Subterranean Homesick Blues:
You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
I'm not exactly sure what the significance of the term was; perhaps it had to do with the winds of change moving through the American culture. As the war in Vietnam wound down, the group drifted apart and the individuals grew older and presumably less radical with age. But, I have to say, Weathermen was catchy. The organization folded but the name endured.

Then there's the other kind of weathermen. Today, the meteorologist-type were the rock stars on the Houston television stations. One of the worst ice storms in a decade is blowing into south Texas and Harris County is in the path. It could be bad. Westbury Christian School already has contingency plans in case we can't meet the next two days. The forecast is for sleet, freezing rain, and possibly snow. Houston is on high alert. The stores have been crowded with shoppers stocking up on emergency supplies, like flashlight batteries and anti-freeze. Most of us are glued to our TV sets to find out the most up-to-the-minute piece of info from super Doppler storm tracker radar systems. My favorite weatherman celebrity is Dr. Neil Frank of KHOU-TV, the CBS affiliate in Houston. He gives the assurance that things will be all right. We need that calmness; I haven't seen this much attention paid to the skies since Hurricane Rita's near miss of sixteen months ago. I am predicting no school for tomorrow but I am glad others will make the decision. There are so many variables to consider. What do parents do with children whom they assumed would be in school from 7:40 AM to 3:25 PM? My day is planned if we stay home: some long-needed cleaning will take place! I'll find out in about six hours.

It's amazing how we allow our lives to revolve around a radar image on a television screen. (I heard a great line today. A guy on the radio said the prettier and more colorful the radar picture, the uglier the road conditions!) We hear a weatherman we don't know predict what he thinks the weather will do and we take action based on his hedged bet. And yet, many pay no heed to the warnings in the Bible about the storms of life or the impending end of time. We make preparations based on satellite images of cold and warm fronts but we ignore the parables that teach what the outcome will be if we fail to make Jesus the center of our world. We'll protect ourselves and our families against temporary atmospheric conditions but then we overlook eternal shelter. I mentioned that Neil Frank ranks as my #1 meteorologist but he is fallible. He might be right this time; we'll know for sure in the morning! But Jesus IS right and will be accurate; we don't need a weatherman to predict that for us.

Applicable quote of the day:
"The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it."
Patrick Young

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at

No comments: