Changing Patterns

This is an updated version of a gently read prior post.

This is a dangerous post. I must begin with a disclaimer that I have now lived in Texas for 27 years. I love Texas and the people of the Lone Star state. Please remember that disclaimer as I confess that I can sympathize with General  Philip Henry Sheridan’s comments about Texas after the Civil War. Sheridan remarked that “if I owned Hell and Texas I would rent out Texas and live in Hell”. Because he criticized Texas and was also a Yankee (the Texas version of a Samaritan) I am pretty sure that most Texans are sure he is now residing in Hell. But let us extend a moment of grace and consider that perhaps Sheridan offered his comments during the month of August. I suspect that in pre-air conditioning days I might have pondered the same thoughts.  August is almost always miserable in North Texas. August in Texas is our payback for mocking our Northern friends during February.

The usual suspect for miserable summer weather is a high pressure dome that camps over the state. I am not a meteorologist, I don’t play one on TV, and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night but here is what I understand about this phenomenon. This high pressure dome just sits there defiantly (okay…it may not have personality but it sure seems vengeful) and whenever a cooling front or storm approaches those cooling temps bounce off and are sent to a less deserving state. Every night I watch the weather with naive hope. I observe these fronts floating toward Texas from Canada, bringing the hope of tantalizingly cooler air, only to see this high pressure dome reject that relief. And we stay miserable. Texans (and adopted Texans) know that eventually this dome will be broken up and cooler weather will arrive. Often that requires a tropical disturbance to break-up the high pressure dome.

So what in the wide, wide world of meteorology does that have to do with my faith? One of things that God is teaching me is that I sometimes allow spiritual “high pressure domes” to settle over areas of my life. The “high pressure dome” of pride forces a gentle front of humility and reconciliation to bounce tragically away. The net result is the same. I stay miserable. It takes courage, maybe a little Holy Spirit disturbance, or perhaps a life storm to break up the high pressure dome that blocks the arrival of spiritual change. I find it fascinating that I desperately hope the weather high pressure dome will go away so I will not be physically miserable yet I ignore the stubborn spiritual patterns that make me even more miserable. I am indeed a fallen creature. I pray that I will stop allowing domes of sin to settle over my spiritual life patterns. I pray that I will be willing to break up any hindrance that blocks the refreshing winds of the Holy Spirit.

And just to make sure my fellow Texans are clear…I would rent out Hell and live in Texas. Even in August.