climate controlled

last weekend tragedy struck the drenner household: when i woke up saturday morning (after a very hot friday) the house felt stuffy. in fact, i realized this during the night, and slept upside down in my bed, so my head would be directly under the ceiling fan! a check of the a/c revealed an in-house temperature of 80, despite its setting being at 75. yikes. this was bad news. and we had just had the a/c guys out a few months earlier.

christy had persuaded me three months ago to renew our household appliance warranty we got when we bought the house last summer. thankfully i followed her advice. at least if we had to buy a new unit it wouldn't be so painful. maybe. to be honest i'm not sure i understand the thing. anyway, long story short i called and was told someone would call within 4 business hours-- this being saturday that meant i would not hear from them until monday, and would be without a/c service until at least tuesday. thank goodness a cold front came through saturday afternoon, cooling us off for several days.

more good news: when the guy came out tuesday it was just a bad motor. didn't need to buy a new unit! the only cost was for the service call! i was elated. then it promptly turned hot again, and we were saved by the air conditioning. i checked the 10 day forecast earlier and guess what? 90's every day, no rain. as my dad says as often as anyone will listen: "thank God for a/c!" contrast that to a comment i heard my grandfather make last month about growing up in the days before a/c: "we never knew we were hot." how could this be? i know significant climate is a relatively recent phenomenon, but we're still talking about south texas, 70-80 years ago. don't tell me it wasn't hot.

my mom likes to recall the days growing up in the 50s, when neighbors would gather together outside on huge porches every evening. they would do this for several good reasons: to support each other (community building) and it was cooler outside than inside with the evening breeze (comfort building). she says the biggest things that have destroyed american community are a/c and tv. and as much as i love both and could not imagine life without them, i have to agree. we live in a culture where the #1 issue is creating and sustaining what makes me, my family, my little world, more comfortable and secure. if that means locking our doors as soon as we enter the house, so be it. locks on the door, hmmm: we lock others out, we lock ourselves in. me, me, me, us, us, us. have we lost our sense of community, substituting our own need for comfort?

recently at trinity we installed a new air conditioner in the sanctuary. whereas the old one took forever to cool down and did not perform well at all, the new one provides relief almost instantly.
i am grateful for this gift, and thankful for those who made it possible. certainly no one wants to worship in a space where it is 85-90 inside! frankly our congregation has a very strong understanding of community, so i don't think the new a/c will make us withdraw from the neighborhood. but what about when we go home?

and speaking of creature comforts, should they apply to church as well? should we be part of a worshiping community only as long as no one offends us? do we stay or leave when a new pastor comes who is different from what we expect? do we worship only at those places closest to us, or do we go out of our way to worship in a place where we really feel at home in community? do we resist change that might be uncomfortable for us, but might make it easier for new people to worship? do we demand that everything be done the way it's always been?

comfort is a good thing-- no one should sweat at home, work, or church, at least not do to climate conditions. good preaching and uplifting worship probably will make us sweat a little, and hopefully will inspire us to get out of those safety zones and really work for Christ. Jesus certainly did not call his disciples to a life of relaxation, so why should we expect it? are you too comfortable in your faith? when was the last time you did something unexpected in your walk with Christ? maybe that's the thing: when we step out on faith, away from comfort, security, and locked doors, maybe that's where we meet Christ. like those porches fifty years ago, maybe it's outside our little world where we find real community. and that has more power to refresh our souls than the most powerful a/c unit on the hottest day of the year.


Josh said…
Good think the weather's getting a bit cooler, huh?

Hello, from a fellow Christian in FtW! The pic's not real. Just for laughs! Have a good weekend.