Spirit Daily

When It Snows Is Not Time To Complain -- But It May Be Time To Discern More 'Signs'

By Michael H. Brown

Ah, yes, a Christmas -- or make that "holiday" -- storm. At the same time that Christmas has lost its Christian feel, that it has become secularized, it is punctuated by a storm that sets records. Happy holidays!

It always snows around this time, but this was something a bit unusual.

Where I sit there were 20 inches.

On Christmas night I shoveled our driveway four times -- more than I had to all last winter.

Was the Lord trying to tell us something?

Maybe. There are many "signs of the times." Year after year, in all domains -- in society, in seismology, in weather -- they intensify. Watch this closely: how events grow in proportion with each passing month and seem to punctuate certain times or trends. 

And so it is either too dry or too wet. Climatologists have long warned that the shift in climate, the trend toward higher temperatures -- the gyration [see report] -- would inject more moisture into the air, which intensifies storms and causes weather extremes. That's what we see: long periods of drought followed by record precipitation. There are changes everywhere. In 2002, warmer temperatures and shifts in atmospheric circulation patterns contributed to the greatest surface melt on the Greenland Ice Sheet in the 24-year satellite record, says a government report. There was also a record low level of Arctic sea ice extent in September, the lowest since satellite monitoring began in 1978, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. While it snows in Beijing, the permafrost in Alaska is melting -- causing roads to buckle and telephone poles to collapse. For the first time checkered butterflies that used to be indigenous to Mexico are being spotted in Canada. There is El Nino after El Nino; in Australia a storm caused a 42-foot surge; on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean a cyclone set a record with 18 feet of rainfall.

Extremes are the nature of our times. We're seeing that all over the world and in an intense way in the U.S. And so a snowstorm (oh, yes, there are always December snowstorms, but not quite like this) become, perhaps, another sign of the time. There is a climate shift and the snowstorm over Christmas -- the one that brought such ice to Texas, to Oklahoma, that brought snow to Missouri and northern Florida -- was accompanied, in the hardest hit regions of the Northeast, by an earthquake (slight in magnitude but unusual in this part of the country).

Does it relate to what's going on around the world? Is it God nudging us? Does it have to do with the direction in which we're headed? Does it have anything to do with the way states like New York are moving in the direction of gay marriage or how in California a university is ready to clone or how across the country and in every socio-economic group is the trend away from the Lord and toward Man as God?

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of the national obsession with snow. When I was a kid we prayed for a White Christmas. So did adults. We were disappointed if it didn't snow. Now, snow is a dirty word. We flee it. It aggravates us. In life, we are supposed to take what God sends, offer it up, and not complain about it. We say that snow is dirty, when really it's our activities -- our combustive engines -- that cause it to turn black. When we are obsessed with the exterior -- with the weather -- we may be demonstrating interior shortcomings.

But there are times when weather is pertinent to mull over and one such case occurred over Christmas as a huge sprawling system spread snow and tornadoes from Arizona and New Mexico to New England.

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