As a minister, when you go to a new church, you should always brace yourself for what they didn’t tell you. What I mean is that when they were recruiting you for the job, were they hiding something about the church or community? Were there skeletons in the closet, issues that were hidden out of plain sight? So, your first week at the church someone says, “I don’t know if they told you, but…”, then brace yourself.
The things they might not have told you could range from church financial issues, to church in-fighting, or baggage from the previous minister.
We have a new Student Minister who hails from Houston, Texas, which happens to be the hottest place on earth. I should know. I have lived in south Alabama, where the gnats are as big as small farm animals, Mobile, Alabama, New Orleans, and Houston. Houston is by far the hottest in the summer. The air is suffocating. I had a Toyota Celica with black, leather interior and I could not go to lunch in my car during the summer. The steering wheel was too hot to handle.
I say all that for some context. Like I said, our new Student Minister is from there. He’s been here a few months and he is beginning to think that there are things we didn’t tell him. What we told him was that Carrollton has four seasons, the fall and spring are beautiful, summers are hot (but not as hot as Houston) and winters are mild. He thought he was coming to the First Baptist Church of Carrollton, Georgia and not the First Baptist Church of Siberia. We keep telling him that our weather is not normally like this, but our credibility is slipping fast. With each winter storm, with plunging temperatures, he’s thinking we are lying.
We took our youth on a winter retreat to Asheville, and got stuck in the weather system called Bombogenesis (bomb and cyclogenesis), also called weather bombs or bomb cyclones. This is a process of rapid intensification that can lead to dangerous winds and precipitation. Winter storm Grayson’s Bombogenesis rocked the east coast last week. It was snowing, for crying out loud, in Savannah and Jacksonville, FL. Temps were in the teens.
Life is miserable in a Bombogenesis. Even my pansies are miserable. I bought them a month ago to put by the front door. Pansies are tough plants; they not only survive the winter, they thrive in it. Not mine. My pansies want to come inside.
I’ve had it with Bombogenesis. I’ve had it with sub-freezing temperatures, snow and ice. I’m a southern boy at heart. I like to sweat. I love spring, summer, and fall. I don’t love winter; heck I don’t even like it.
The writer of Ecclesiastes 3 wisely says, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.” I’m thinking that the writer got his inspiration for this by observing the seasons—winter, spring, summer, and fall. I’m also thinking that a Bombogenesis hit Israel, his pansies were dying, his thermals were dirty, his winter coat was tattered, and he too had had enough.
Yes, there is a time for spring. Let it come quickly Lord.
I need it and our new Student Minister needs it so as not to think we are lying.