We are gearing up for flood season in my neighborhood. Granted we aren't any where close to the type of flooding they are having in Mississippi... but the rivers around us are already really high and the spring melt off hasn't even really begun in earnest yet. Sandbags have become the newest lawn decoration fad.
The most ironic thing about the whole situation to me though is that about two months ago-- in the middle of March-- we had a week of the MOST beautiful weather. It was about 65 degrees outside, sunny, warm and was in stark contrast to the snow we'd had the week before. I was on my way home from spending the day at the park with my kids when the weather forecast came on the radio. The man giving the forecast said something like this,
"Thank heavens that tomorrow we are expecting temperatures to drop significantly and may even have a chance of snow. It would be disastrous to have any more days like the last few warm ones we've had. The animals are all confused and the trees are starting to bloom. Hopefully it will get cold again soon real fast."
I was aghast. Obviously, I thought to myself, this man has no idea what he is talking about. The weather is great! He is probably just cooped up in an office. If HE had spent the day at the park he would probably feel much different. I really thought the guy was nuts and told at least 6 or 7 people that day about the crazy forecaster I'd heard on the radio.
Well, two months later I am eating my words because it turns out that forecaster really did know what he was talking about. It was those few days of incredibly warm weather early in the season that started melting the snow pack and raised the river levels high much earlier than they should have. Unlike me, the forecaster knew what lay in the future. He could see the signs of what was going to happen WAY before I could and was worried about them. To me, whose sight and understanding was limited, he sounded crazy and like he was overreacting. Yet in the long run he was the one who was right on.
This experience got me thinking about prophets and how they are able to see the spiritual and temporal storms and the floods on the horizon and are worried about them. They give us constant warnings to get our souls, our families, our finances, and our priorities figured out. To them, who can see more than we can, the coming storms and floods are very real. Yet those of us who are playing at the park we just keep singing "eat, drink and be merry!" and laugh at (or ignore) those overreacting old white guys in suits. The last few weeks I've been asking myself if I have really given the words of the prophets-- living and dead-- the type of at attention they deserve. Am I really listening and understanding their warnings, am I seeing the signs of the times, and am I preparing myself and my family for them? Or am I just playing at the park? In all honesty... I think I am still mostly at the park... but I hope I'll do better in the future.
I also had one other experience in the last few weeks that got me thinking about prophets and listening to their warnings. About two weeks ago there was a severe frost warning given for our area. My husband was really concerned because our apricot tree was in bloom and he was worried the frost might kill all the blossoms... meaning we wouldn't get fruit in the summer... meaning NO apricot jam... and that would be disastrous. So in an attempt to save our blossoms he decided to try a trick that he had learned in one of his plant classes at college. He'd learned that when commercial fruit farmers are threatened with frost that they often sprinkle their trees with sprinklers all throughout the night. It turns out that the steady stream of water creates icicles over the blossoms that keep them warm and prevent them from freezing.
Who knew huh?
So-- against all common sense-- we ran a sprinkler on our tree all night. In the morning this is what we had.
It was beautiful. By looking at the tree you'd think for sure that it was doomed but when the ice melted off almost all the blossoms were still on the tree! It has continued blooming and hopefully we will get fruit off of it this year (though I'm not sure if the bees have been out because it has been so cold, so it still might not make it... but we'll see).
This tree just reminded me of how sometimes the prophets ask us to do things that don't make sense to us... logically... or are things that we are really uncomfortable doing. Yet if we just had a greater perspective and understanding we would see that what they were asking us to do was just exactly what we need.
This flood season has taught me a lot. Now hopefully the river doesn't get too out of control the next few weeks, because even though I'm sure that I'd learn some good lessons from wading through flood waters... I'd really prefer not to!