The man came in wearing a heavy jacket and stomping his snow-covered boots. He shook a little in the heat of the room and unzipped his coat. But what you noticed was his smile. It was freezing out and the ground was snow-covered and crusty and this guy was enjoying it.
He said something positive about the weather and was met with looks of incredulity. My sense was that if it was put to a vote, summer would be back and this guy would be shipped off to Outer Mongolia.
But then it dawned on me that if we took another vote, one on who was the most contented person in that room, that guy would win hands down and everyone else would be sent to sit in the corner.
I can understand both attitudes about weather. There are people who love extremes. It can never be too cold for some or too hot for others. Understood. And there is a wide swath of people who love it somewhere in the middle. To these folks, the thermostat in the Garden of Eden was set at room temperature. Got it.
But what’s with the complaining? Why not try, just for a moment, to see things through that guy’s eyes.
In his Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, C. S. Lewis ventures a guess to what lies behind the criticism. He observes,
“There is also conceit: the dangerous reflection that not everyone can find God in a plain slice of bread and butter, or that others would condemn as simply ‘grey’ the sky in which I am delightedly observing such delicacies of pearl and dove and silver.”1
In 1 Corinthians 10:31, the apostle Paul admonishes believers “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I can’t help but wonder how things would be different if he said “So, whether it snows or the sun is out, whatever it does, do all to the glory of God.”
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” – Philippians 2:14–15.
- C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2012), 90.