WEBSTER defines climate as weather conditions averaged over a series of years. Stormy. Cloudy. Sunny. Hot and humid. Temperate. Warm and dry. Arid. Chilling to the bone. Windy. Give me warm and dry any day.
I recall many years ago participating in a related icebreaker. “Describe your day using weather forecast terminology.”
One lady responded, “Partly cloudy and cold.” Her incongruous smile hid the pain implied in her reply. The group’s responses set the climate for that night.
Since childhood, I’ve attended and hosted countless gatherings, both work-related and casual. Some involved acquaintances and friends, other events involved complete strangers, even foreigners. At these functions, I prefer a temperate climate, but I’ve also learned to survive the arid and the cold.
I remember attending one professional function where a vain gentleman dominated the conversation. His long-winded speech on WWI transformed listeners into an arid territory full of ghost-town gazes. Another time, we hosted a casual gathering that included a woman who’d just lost her young son. She sat quietly on the couch sporting a mournful expression (grieving, naturally). Her silence stirred up the weather, ushering in overcast skies with areas of drizzle.
I place no judgment on either situation described above. I only use them to awaken reflection. Do you believe your presence in a given gathering affects people? Is there really such a thing as a wallflower—a person who goes completely unnoticed? Are we released from making climate alterations even during menial tasks such as grocery shopping or getting a haircut?
If you asked your friends and family to tell you which climate (or weather condition) best described you, what would they say? Seriously, I dare you to ask. I did. I’ll share the response from my son because I found it humorous. (Warning: I gave birth to comedians)
“Over the last few years we’ve noticed a trend of generally sunny and partly cloudy. At times, a cold front sweeping in from the north. Only one tropical depression reported in the last 4 decades. But, we’re in for something new. A recent trend of cold fronts from the north collide with warm fronts from the east have raised humidity levels and caused storms. We’re not talking El Nino here, but some subliminal changes have occurred causing wind gusts to occur exceeding 20MPH. So, if all of the right circumstances align, things should be in the low 70s with minimal cloud cover . . . but beware of the front exchange.
That’s your forecast. More at the top of the hour.”
In his book, Qualities of a Spiritual Warrior, Graham Cooke says:
“Warriors stoke the atmosphere
The first stage of warfare
is to change the atmosphere around us
where we live, work, and worship.
We do this by releasing as much of the blessing of God as possible.
The plan of the enemy is to create misery, take away hope,
and develop a climate of despair and helplessness.
(Warriors) overcome evil with good.”
THOSE are empowering words!
The above is a daily operation. Everywhere at anytime. Pursuing this higher calling forces me to take captive every thought. Every minute. To make the most of every moment with the understanding that God is constantly at work and does not sleep. I may never know what he’s up to in a person’s life, but I’m seeking to be available, like an understudy waiting in the wings or a soldier on standby. At any moment, I could be on.
With this in mind, I now realize I create the climate.
Webster’s definition: The prevailing attitudes, standards, or environmental conditions of a group, period, or place
Jesus Christ—an expert at working a crowd—set the climate wherever he went, and people acclimatized to him. For example, in John 8 the spiteful and self-righteous religious leaders brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus. They asked God Himself, “The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
A storm of justice chased away the accusers. (v.7-9)
A gentle breeze of mercy dried the woman’s tears. “‘Has no man condemned you?’ She answered, ‘No one, Lord!’”
And a gust of forgiveness set her free. “And Jesus said, ‘I do not condemn you either.’” The woman returned home released from darkness and standing in righteousness. (v.10-11)
Christ’s ambassadors have been given divine authority to adjust the climate in our circles of influence. (Matt 16:19)
Ask the Holy Spirit to set the climate through you and then watch the crowd acclimatize.