“It is the worst kind of hot,” claimed Ed, my neighbor next door. Ed’s air conditioning has been running both day and night. Ed is dog tired because if he turns his air conditioning off at night, it is too hot to sleep. If he leaves the air conditioning on, he is awakened from his sleep every time the air conditioner starts up. The actual nightmare is that staying cool is costing him money.
“The problem is that we can have a month or more of this really hot weather and by the time it is done, a person is looking with favor on winter,” Ed confirmed. I dared to mention that the dog days of summer in Saskatchewan are often broken a bit with some evenings which cool off nicely. I was just meaning that some parts of the country don’t cool down over night, so it seems too warm around the clock. I also mentioned that some areas are not only hot, but very humid. So humid, in fact, it makes your hair curl. Of course, it always irritates Ed when I point out how other places have it worse than us.
“We are not always better off than the rest of the country,” Ed said in disgust. “You should be grumbling also, as I see you watering your garden and that costs money too. The hot days of summer slow people down and speed up the disappearance of their money,” Ed informed me.
“Wait until you are a retired senior like me. Then you’ll find that every day you are slowed down and the disappearance of your money speeds up,” I told Ed. But he left before I could finish, as he dreads old age and believes he can delay it by not talking or hearing about it.
The Greeks and Romans blamed the hot days, or dog days, of summer on the star Sirius, or the Dog Star. They said that when the Dog Star was close to the sun, it was responsible for their hot weather. They described the dog days of summer as the time when the sea boiled, the wine went sour, dogs went mad and people became languid. It means that they became weary, weak, without vitality or vigor, listless, indifferent, slow and dull.
It seems that Christians suffer from languidness beyond the dog days of summer. The Bible warns that we must not go limp and become spiritless. It is important that we do not become weary and slip lazily into scoffing at what God’s word warns. It sizzles with the heat that “the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day-of-judgment and destruction of ungodly people…He (God) is patient…not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”
The dog days of summer have a way of stirring up severe thunderstorms. Weather alerts on the television seek to warn us of approaching stormy weather. Thunderstorms and tornadoes can destroy all that is and was in minutes. No one underestimates their power. How sad it is that so many see God as languid, with no power to destroy, when his patience is not for our indifference, but our salvation.