Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Predicting the Weather

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance, and the hills in a pair of scales? -Is. 40:12 It’s going to be a new year soon and the weather is doing its usual thing. Rain, snow, sleet, fog- you name it and it’s in the forecast. And for those of us that like control (which is everyone, in some form or another) it’s an uncomfortable time. Why? Because there is simply nothing we can do about it. The weather is going to be the weather whether we try to control it or not. The weather is just another one of God’s reminders that He is in control. But that doesn’t keep us from trying to control nature. Just look around. There are multiple television channels, computer applications and cell phone apps all solely focused on the weather. The granddaddy of them all is the Weather Channel. Who would have thought that weather would be watched 24 hours a day! Our great-grandparents would have laughed at the idea. But as of August 2013, approximately 99,926,000 American households (87.50% of households with television) receive The Weather Channel. The Weather Channel is currently the most reached channel on cable in America, in terms of coverage. Does knowing the weather change any of it? No. But it does help us prepare and feel a sense of control, whether rational or not. I received an actual professional weather station for Christmas from my brother-in-law. I love it. It’s a device placed on a pole with a wind speed and direction indicator, a rainfall gauge and an internal computer that measures all the factors of weather and provides a forecast. It is all wirelessly transmitted to a base station inside the house. It tells me the temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and whether the air pressure is correct on the tires of my car (not really). Control. It’s not enough to have the weather displayed on my cell phone and television. Now I have it in the house! I might start my own weather channel! There have been other attempts at controlling weather. Cloud seeding and laser targeting are attempts to stimulate the atmosphere to produce rain. But the results have been mediocre at best. There have been attempts to microwave hurricanes to lesson their intensity. But none have proven effective. We are like the child declaring to his parents at the beach that “I’m going to count all the grains of sand while we’re here this week!” While we think his comments are quite cute, we realize the futility of the assignment he has placed upon himself. But a Science writer David Blatner, in his new book Spectrums, says a group of researchers at the University of Hawaii, being well-versed in all things beachy, tried to calculate the number of grains of sand. They said, if you assume a grain of sand has an average size and you calculate how many grains are in a teaspoon and then multiply by all the beaches and deserts in the world, the Earth has roughly (and we're speaking very roughly here) 7.5 x 101 to the eighteenth grains of sand, or seven quintillion, five hundred quadrillion grains. That's a lot of grains and certainly too many to count. We predict the weather and though we can’t count all the world’s sand, we can enjoy what God has given us. As we leave 2013 behind and usher in 2014, whether it’s cloudy or rainy, we can live and breathe and live the abundant life God has supplied us. Whether the weather is sunny or rainy, life is simply okay. We can relax and enjoy the beach, no matter the amount of sand. It just doesn’t matter, because the rhetorical answer to Isaiah’s question in the verse above is “God.” He knows. He has it all under His control. The ups and the downs and even the sideways- He’s got it covered. It may not make sense, but He’s God. And that’s enough. So, enjoy the weather in 2014… …whether it’s sunny or not. By Eric Joseph Staples © www.parentingyourteen101.com

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