It has been hot in Mississippi the past couple of weeks. I don’t mean it’s a little uncomfortable outdoors. I’m talking the wall of humidity outside the door waits patiently to grab you by the lungs and begin it's boa-like suffocation. It truly almost takes your breath away. Only, you’re kinda glad you can’t breathe because breathing that air is akin to drinking hot pea soup through your lungs.
One morning this week, as I broke a sweat on the short trek from my back door to my car, I was struck by the heaviness of the air. It is stinkin’ 7 o'clock in the morning, and the back of my shirt has taken a second job as a towel. Doesn’t God know that three digit heat indexes and humidity percentages in the B+ grade scale are meant for August, not June? My internal dialogue did a downward spiral as I moaned on to myself about how the summer will be miserable, and my garden dead in a week, my lunch-time exercise halted in fear of heat exhaustion, and every ounce of fun drained from my life. (Hey, it’s my internal dialogue, and I’ll over exaggerate if I want to).
Then, God whispered in my ear, “If you didn’t experience this heat, would you appreciate the fall?”
Would I? Would the colorful pop of spring plumage be so welcoming if the winter wasn’t so drab? Would the cool evening breeze of autumn be so crisp if that same breeze blew through my open window every night? I doubt it. Soon, the repetition would fade what was once joyful into something expected. Like putting on a soft shirt, the material wonderfully blissful against your skin for a moment and then seemingly disappearing as your skin adapts to the weight of it. I’m so fickle in my humanness, I need the discomfort of the hot sun or the deep cold of winter to fall in love with the season to come.
I still hate the heat. Hate it. Wouldn’t save it if it were drowning. But, I hope that small message whispered in my ear will stay with me longer than this dreadful humidity. God will always bring another season with its own distinct splendor and caveats. I need to relish each one, knowing it will make way for something beautiful than will lift my sinful heart once more. I hope as the sweat trickles down my back tomorrow morning, as it is sure to do, I will be less likely to grumble away my steps and more apt to look forward to the morning I will need a light jacket and hear the crunch of leaves underfoot as I make that same walk. It will be here before we know it. And it will be beautiful.
Have you ever noticed the hotter the day the more spectacular the sunset? It's like a little gift congratulating us for making it through a scorcher without melting...or committing a crime.