It’s Enough to Make Us Sick!
I love the Spring of the year. To me the Spring is exciting because everything that just a few short weeks ago seemed so dead is now beginning to live. The trees are budding, some are leafing out. Fruit trees are blooming and filling the countryside with a bold array of colors, and their fragrance causes the gentle spring breezes to tickle our sense of smell.
Outside my bedroom window, directly below stands a large plum tree. Off to its side stands one large and one small peach tree. Just to the left is a stately pear tree, and directly out from the window is a beautiful and aromatic crabapple tree. At night, with the window open a bit, you can feel the gentleness of the cool night air and smell a mixture of the phenomenal smells generated by these living testimonies of beauty.
In the mornings as the sun breaks through the darkness of the night, there is a chill in the air. We call that being a little nippy. It’s not cold, but it is just cool enough to bite at you a little. There is no frost, but you know it wouldn’t take much to get one.
By now you might be thinking, “What’s this guy complaining about? This is wonderful!” You’re right. Understand, I’m not complaining. I love the Spring. I love the bite in the morning air. I love the smell of the trees blooming. Get this, I even love the yellow that flows from all the pine trees. I don’t like what it does to me and others, and I don’t like having to wash it off the vehicles, but I love what it does for the pine trees.
Here’s the problem. All that I have described to you is lovely and exciting. But, in the afternoon it gets steaming hot. In the morning you dress like an Eskimo and in the afternoon you are walking around in a tee shirt and short sleeve britches. Your body and your mind have to adjust to the differences. You have to dress in layers and peel yourself like a banana all through the day, except, you have to keep the peelings and replace them later. Now you know how that ole turkey must feel… out of the refrigerator and into the oven night after night until he is gone.
Cold and hot! Pollen! You start out cold and get hot. About the time you get used to being hot, the sun goes down and you get cold again. Pollen! You get cold, start getting used to that and wham, you are hot again. Don’t forget the pollen! It’s enough to make a body sick.
Last Sunday I listened to the church. Cough! Cough! Wheeze! Wheeze! Hack! Hack! And then… overshadowing all of that comes a blistering blow… Honk! It’s Spring and everyone is feeling it. There is nothing we can do about it and if we did we would destroy God’s whole scheme of things. It is cold and hot for a reason. Pollen fills the air for a reason. So, we deal with it, but it does make us sick!
With the Spring, the cold and hot is a given. We cannot change it, but in the church, it is a different story. We CAN do something about that.
There are those, who I guess we would call “Spring Christians.” They are cold one moment and hot the next. For a period of time you hear nothing from them. They don’t attend the assemblies. They do not participate with others in the planned activities or the planned work. It is as though they have fallen off the face of the earth, but in a moment, or what seems “in the twinkling of an eye,” they are hot and moving as though the energy of the whole world resides within them. They are just like a snake. When he is cold you could beat him to death with a cotton ball. He won’t move, but when it is warm, you had better look out!
These folks are spiritually sick, because just like the weather makes us sick as it jumps from hot to cold, so this kind of activity affects our spiritual well being. I don’t want to be sick, nor do I want you to be. God has too much for us to do that will not get done if we are lying on our sick beds all the time.
All through the New Testament the Christian life is called a “walk.” That’s all God expects. Some of us do the hot and cold routine because someone has convinced us that we have to run all the time. Actually, you will cover more ground in a lifetime if you walk consistently as opposed to running and burning out.
We have a lot to do around here this year. Those of us who are “walking” cannot afford to be chilled by you when you are frozen in time, nor can we afford to be incinerated by you when you swing to the other side of the spectrum. You will burn us up with your great ideas and programs that you leave us with when you crawl back into the freezer.
Let’s be consistent! Do you remember how the hot and cold weather in the same day makes us physically sick? Just like that, hot and cold people will make a church sick. Don’t quit! Thaw out! Take the steam cap off , and let your spiritual temperature be consistent. If we will do that, we will be healthy and productive this year.