It seems like weather people the world–over get no respect.
From Times of India, a Delhi daily (13 October), comes the following: “Farmers threaten to lock Pune IMD office for ‘wrong’ monsoon forecast.” The farmers are charging that the meteorologists were in bed with the seed and pesticide manufacturing companies and “wrongfully inflated the monsoon forecast” which cost the farmers big–time. And it wasn’t just for this year—it happened in 2017 resulting in a loss of Rs 2.5 lakh (about $3,392—I’m guessing that’s per farm). Because of the losses they plan a “visit” to the premises of the weather people. Will they come armed with weather maps and charts chanting mathematical algorithms? Police are on alert.
Now that’s a first for me. I knew the weather people relied on weathervanes, balloons, maps, satellite images, Doppler, and observations of what the weather was doing elsewhere and is now blowing in. And we all know that track record is not the best. How could it be with all the variables and the chaotic nature of the atmosphere (which is another way of saying they haven’t completely figured out God’s design in all of this). But to conspire with an entire industry and purposefully make wrong predictions—that’s just not right. That would be like my good friend and Mayor of Cape May, Chuck Lear, sliding an envelope full of green–backs under the doors of Philly meteorologists for them to declare there will be no rain, zero precipitation every weekend at the beach next summer. And if there is—it’s liquid sunshine.
Jesus was often challenged by the religious leaders. On one occasion they asked Him to show them a sign from Heaven (Mt. 16:1). His reply was not what they expected or wanted. He gave them a first century meteorological standard: red sky at night—fair weather; red and threatening sky in the morning—stormy. But then He hit them with: “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times (vs.3).
Although much study goes into becoming a meteorologist and I doubt very seriously that any are in bed with the seed or pesticide industry or even my mayor friend, the real challenge is being able to interpret the times in which we are living. We need to be like the Issacharites who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do (1 Chron. 12:32).
Doesn’t take much insight to realize that we are in troubling times—times that demand urgency in us sharing our faith with our Nathanaels (friends, relatives, neighbors, coworkers, etc.). The night is coming. Time to wake up!
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