Ed, my neighbor next door, would seem to be in a great position as we face the last week of September in beautiful sunshine. Ruby mentioned, however, that Ed is still stressed over the harvest and every year it takes a little longer for him to become human again when the combining and bailing is all done. Ruby says that by Halloween, Ed will quit acting like a caged bear with his left foot caught in a beaver trap.
Ruby warned me, but I was a little surprised at Ed’s reaction when I said to him, “Sure is great fall weather we are having.”
“Where are you living? Can’t you see it is so dry that it takes dynamite to work the land? There is no point in planting winter wheat as there is no moisture to germinate it!” Ed snapped his response to me like a dog ready to tear me to bits.
“Hopefully the fall rains will come soon,” I lamely offered.
“Sure, they’ll come and turn into snow and ice and shut stuff down and keep us prisoners at least half of the fall,” Ed declared in impatience.
“Best to enjoy these sunny days while they last,” I suggested.
“Don’t let a little sunshine fool you. The days are getting cooler and meaner. Right now, the frost kills the mosquitoes, but winter is closing in to replace them.” Ed answered emphatically.
The weather certainly can make a game out of the labels we call seasons. Adjectives like wonderful, weird, wicked and wretched get applied to our weather all year round. The weather certainly influences us more than we impact it. In all honesty, we cannot control it, or God, at all.
The Bible speaks of people trying to control, or at least influence, God by the worship they offer to him. Hosea the prophet warned the people of Ephraim and Judah that God desires mercy, not sacrifice. God wants acknowledgement of Himself rather than burnt offerings. The Lord knew that the people came forth to worship Him with sacrifices and burnt offerings. The problem was that once these acts of worship were done, they were like the mist and dew that disappears with the sun. Their acknowledgement of God was a brief act without love done to appease God on a particular day, so that they could then forget God most of the rest of the time.
The weather can be ignored regularly, but not always. Blinding snow, a layer of ice, or pouring rain can intimidate us, slow us down, or even stop us. Perhaps we worship God with the attitude that God is found, and left, at church.
Jesus spoke of the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury out of their abundance, so that their gifts really cost them no personal hardship or financial concern. He also spoke of a poor widow who gave out of her poverty two very small copper coins, everything she had to live on. She gave in love and acknowledgement to God, trusting Him to provide for her future needs. Her giving wasn’t so she could forget about God, but so she could trust Him even more in the days ahead. Could it be that true worship of God results in giving of who and what we have so fully that God must be trusted to take care of our coming day?