Up in the north county, some folks consider air conditioning an unnecessary luxury. Many homes go without it. Only last summer, after twenty years of Hayward living, did we finally install it in our home.
In our BC days (before conditioning) we relied on open windows, fans, ice tea and dips in the lake to stay cool.
This summer's spate of heat waves confirmed that we made a good decision. A week ago, early in the morning, with the mercury already soaring, I snuggled comfortably in a blanket, sipped hot coffee and smiled.
One recent afternoon, I entered the house, and was met with a blast of Arctic air. It was like stepping from a sauna into Antarctica -- downright cold -- reminding me of my father's moniker for an air conditioner: "the deep freeze."
The deep freeze was certainly working overtime that day. I shivered and wondered, "How long till hypothermia sets in?"
The thermostat was set at 62 degrees. "Good grief! Who turned the air conditioning down to 62?"
My son grinned and said, "I did! Feels good, eh? Almost like November!"
"Nobody sets an air conditioner for 62 degrees! Absolutely nobody!"
"Well, actually, that's not true, because I'm somebody and I did it."
"Congratulations, and you'll never do that again unless you want to pay the electric bill."
When you're a preacher, there's a lesson in everything. After resetting us back to a more tropical climate, I recalled a lesson from years ago.
Some people are like thermometers. They react emotionally to the situation. When tension is in the air, they get stressed out. When they experience a frustration, they fly off the handle. When someone offends with hurtful words, they hurl back insults. Their mood swings up and down according to their environment.
Others are like thermostats. When the situation gets tense, they see the humor. When frustrations arise, they take a deep breath, and seek understanding. When conflict arises, they bring resolution. When the climate gets hot, they attempt to cool it down.
By nature, we're all thermometers. We become thermostats only by purposeful intention, a willingness to change our thought patterns, and the gumption to overcome negative feelings with positive action. In other words, that's called maturity.