Summer time is already here! School is just getting out for the summer. The weather has already become unbearable for a few days, and if it is this hot now, what will July and August be like? Perish the thought; I don’t even want to think about that. I don’t like extreme heat, but neither do I like to be cold. Hot is better for me. A cool creek to sit in and a cold drink can make the heat of the day disappear. My wife and I just about melted into puddles from the high heat of the day while riding our Harley a couple of Sundays ago after church. The same holds true for relationships. Hot or cold. Hot works better for me.
Quite a few years back, my family and I lived in Quito, Ecuador, for some four years. It is a beautiful city high in the Andean Mountains. At almost 10,000 feet it would normally, be cold, very cold, but because the city was only some 15 miles south of the equator the weather was very nice, almost perfect. Quito is known as the City of Eternal Spring, because of its pleasantly mild days in the lower 80s and nights in the lower 40s. On a clear day, you could not see forever, but you could see several snow capped volcanoes that were around the city from 75 to 125 miles away. They were beautiful with the sunlight sparkling on them. So beautiful that they belied the harsh temperatures, that allowed snow to be on them year ‘round.
Prior to living in Quito, we had lived for some years on the coast of Ecuador in Guayaquil. Guayaquil was not the City of Eternal Spring. In fact if anything it was the City of Eternal Heat. We measured the hotness of the day by talking about the number of showers one took to cool off. A two or three shower day was normal while a four or five shower day was really hot. Temperatures varied between 94 to 106 degrees every day. Some days they would hover around 115 to 120 degrees. It was hot and the rainy season made it feel worse, because the humidity would be 90 to 100 percent. No winter in Guayaquil, just hot and hotter. My girls grew up knowing what hot really was. As I would learn later, cold was almost an unknown quality to them.
As a family we would take trips by car up the mountain to Quito. Along the way we would see the beautiful mountains, but especially the snow capped peaks. After a few days in Quito we would return back to Guayaquil. On one trip to Quito, it was rainy, the sun didn’t shine and it was miserably cold, for us, with a high of 55 degrees and rain. My daughter Keely, who was about 4 at the time, came to me and told me, “Daddy, let’s go back to Guayaquil, where it makes hot!” She had had enough of the cold.
We came home to the states one winter, and were in Upstate South Carolina. During the night it had snowed. The girls were all excited about seeing snow, for Keely, the youngest, it was the first time in her memory to be able to see snow up close. She had only seen it across the miles, high on the mountain peaks in Ecuador. They both went out with great expectations, and much excitement. In just a few minutes, Keely came back in with a long sigh of disappointment and a long face to match. I asked her what was wrong. She just looked at me and sighed again as she replied, “It’s cold! I thought snow was hot!” It was only then that I realized she had only seen snow from a relatively hot climate and had never seen it up close. She was disappointed because the snow was cold. She has since made the adjustment and enjoys the snow.
The Bible says in Revelation 3:15-16 (KJV), “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” God wants us to know the difference between hot and cold in our relationship with Him.
Like my daughter, sometimes we don’t realize that there is a difference between hot and cold. In our marriages and in relationships in general, we need not be observers from a distance but get involved and see the differences in them when they are hot or cold and make the needed adjustments. Get out in life and experience the heat or the cold, go swimming or make a snowball. Whatever you do, take the time to learn the difference between hot and cold!
Brad Morris, a retired minister originally from Georgetown, served as a pastor and then as a missionary in Costa Rica and Ecuador. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.