Goshen News, Goshen, IN

February 7, 2014

THE PLAIN SIDE: 'Is it cold enough for you?' Seriously? Let's move on

Goshen News

---- — “How are you making out in this weather?”

“Cold enough for you?”

“Brrr, it’s cold!”

No kidding. Why do we overuse, overchew, wear thin and continue to point out the obvious? Aren’t there any other topics worthy of starting a conversation? I’ve got nothing to say; I do it myself and am occasionally frustrated that I resorted again to the weather to kick off a conversation.

Of course, the snow and cold does affect us all in one way or another and thus is worthy of mention at times. We just do it way too much.

I’m a short-sleeves, open buggy, green grass kind of guy myself. As far as I’m concerned, it could start warming up soon after the first hard freeze about Thanksgiving time.

The days I spent on the construction crew come back to me. I had to go out in that stuff and work for hours. Cold fingers tried to grip tools and fumble with nails ...

Even while on the crew, I was somewhat dressed for the weather. What about the thousands on the streets and underneath bridges? Where do they go when the mercury plummets? It’s hard to imagine that a cardboard box helps much.

The “A” World Book is at my elbow. Barrow, Alaska, has an average high temperature in February of 10 degrees below zero. Do you really want to know what the average low is?*

There are perks, though. Here I sit in my comfy chair at school with a day off. My second steaming cup of coffee is almost gone and I’ve enjoyed four of the cookies one of my fine fourth-graders baked for me. One glance through the windows shows the snow blowing off the schoolhouse roof.

In here, it is cozy enough. The fire in the wood stove crackles sometimes. The bright gas light above my desk purrs. I am blessed.

Cold is nothing, after all. Which reminds me, have you read the story of the debate between the atheist professor and his Christian student?

The professor demanded to know: Why, if God exists, are children left without parents; why do loved ones die; why are the innocent hurt?

His student pointed out to him that darkness is not a thing of itself. It is only the absence of light, cold is only the absence of heat and evil is simply the absence of our loving God. Where light shines, darkness immediately ceases to exist, etc.

It is scientific fact that there is a point beyond which it cannot become colder. Experimenters, with their fancy gadgetry, have tried to remove all heat from an enclosed container. Though they weren’t able to complete the task, they did determine that, if all heat was removed the temperature would be -459.67 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s it. Once it’s that temperature, nobody can insert more cold. All heat is gone and it’s impossible to make it colder.

On the other side of the spectrum, the temperature inside some stars can reach millions of degrees. In fact, no one knows what the maximum temperature is or perhaps even if there is a maximum. You see, there is no limit to God’s love.

So, in summary, if you see darkness, add light.

If it’s cold, add heat.

And if it’s evil, show them God. Nobody even knows how good it can get.

Oh, there is one more thing. Talk about the stock market, the latest sermon, the Broncos, the meaning of life, the theory of relativity, your hobbies, your wife, your children, even your dog — just please don’t tell me it’s cold outside.

Loren Beachy is an auctioneer and elementary-school teacher. He can be contacted by writing to 14047 Ind. 4, Goshen, IN 46528 or by calling 642-1180.

*The average low temperature in Barrow, Alaska, in February is -22 degrees.