by Annette Bridges. © 2006. All rights reserved.

What a difference a year makes. This time last year I wrote about surviving the worst North Texas drought in 50 years. No rain, no hay was last year’s story. This year we have plenty of grass, all right, but we can’t cut and bale it because of the continuing downpour of rain. And who would have thought it would be the middle of July and my husband would not have his usual farmer’s tan!

Some call it a climate in crisis and spout dire and inescapable predictions and speak of irreversible conditions. The extreme changes in climate go well beyond the Texas border — from century-mark temperatures in U.S. regions known for their mild and pleasant summers to Buenos Aires, Argentina, having its first snow this winter in 90 years. But Texas having weekly, often daily, excessive rains in the summer is an extreme and costly change for many Texas farmers and ranchers.

While climate refers to the meteorological conditions that characteristically prevail in a particular region and season, climate also speaks to the prevailing set of attitudes and behaviors in human affairs. Crisis is a turning point in a crucial situation that demands resolution. Any climate crisis brings the demand to change and adapt our attitudes and behaviors. Change is something most of us try to avoid until we reach a crossroad or impasse where a decision must be reached before growth and progress can move us forward.

The one definite conclusion one can reach from analyzing weather patterns is that these patterns change and are often difficult, if not impossible, to predict. If we can’t change the weather, we can change how we respond to it. Certainly, we can stop allowing weather to be a controlling influence on our success and happiness.

Perhaps this is what Jesus had in mind when he gave the analogy of the wise and foolish man. He said the wise man builds his house upon a rock and the foolish man builds his house upon the sand. When the rain, floods and winds came upon the house built on the sand, the house fell. But the rain, floods and winds could not even shake the house built upon a rock (Matthew 7:24-27).

In pondering this analogy, I believe the house represents my convictions, my moral compass, my faith. Surely the rock must exemplify divine truth, God, making the sand depict human opinion, the mortal viewpoint. I’ve decided the lesson to be learned is that as I keep my faith in the certainty of God’s power and control of the universe, climate becomes harmless.

It was the Fourth of July. And although we encountered only brief rain that day, widespread flooding of marinas canceled fireworks celebrations. The usual festivities had to be changed. Still, we grilled our hamburgers and hot dogs, albeit under the covered patio while it rained. Instead of watching fireworks, we watched baseball, played cards and watched the movie “Independence Day.” Disappointments were set aside, and a grand ol’ time was had by all. Rain showers and floods weren’t able to shake our joy and destroy our fun that day.

Last year a new job opportunity helped lessen the impact of the drought and loss of hay income. We learned to quiet our doubts and fears by strengthening our faith and trust in God. Peace and harmony as well as infinite resources and possibilities come from divine Love. God satisfies human needs in good, beneficial, sometimes unexpected, ways.

Jesus apparently never doubted God’s control, regardless of weather conditions surrounding him. If he did, he could not have slept during the storm at sea. After his disciples woke him up and he calmed the winds, he asked them: “Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” (Mark 4:37-40).

Maybe each year brings new challenges to meet and conquer. Maybe we feel we’re reaching the limits of human endurance. But maybe the solution is simpler than it first seems.

So what if we encounter storms in our path? Perhaps we make changes in our course to our desired destination. There is always a different course to take. Perhaps it will be one we’ve not traveled before or one very far from what we had planned or expected to travel.

We must let no clouds of concern, fear, frustration or uncertainty shut out the light of God, Truth, which will always show us the solution we seek, the new idea we need, the direction to take. Even as the storms outside roar around us, we can feel divine Love, ever present, comforting and reassuring us that all will be well. The sun will shine again. That we can be sure of.