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  • "A Musing Pastor"

Keeping an eye on the sky

The race to get milk, bread, and toilet paper has begun across the Eastern part of the nation. It is an annual ritual that occurs when the threat of a winter storm is approaching. It is easy to poke fun at this phenomenum, but in a real way, it is human nature to do this activity. I heard you laugh out loud just now! Let me explain.

Over my lifetime, I have watched patterns in nature that can't be backed with any scientific data, but are real none the less. When there have been storms predicted, I have noticed deer, squirrels, and birds change their feeding habits and even act different than their normal patterns and rythyms.

Wildlife biologists believe animals are able to sense changes in temperature and more importantly barometric pressure. So, when a storm is announced, you'll often witness deer out in a field during the middle of the day feeding. They would not generally do this otherwise. They are survivalists. They eat in advance of the storm.

Wednesday afternoon, we watched a huge flock of birds nervously swoop into our choke cherry tree and devour every berry and seed they could get. It was unusual in that they flew away no less than 5-6 times, only to come back in larger numbers each time. Within five minutes they were gone.

(A short clip of their frenzied activity)

"Whitetail deer have an innate ability to sense upcoming changes in the weather. They can sense the barometric changes in

the atmosphere and adjust their activity level accordingly. By definition, atmospheric or barometric air pressure is the force

per unit of area exerted on the Earth’s surface by the weight of the air above the surface.(1). High pressure system are

typically clear and calm while low pressure systems contain nasty weather.

When the deer sense an incoming low pressure system, their activity level and feedings increase. They know their defenses

are going to be limited during a low pressure system and they want to be prepared for an extended period of inactivity.


Coming back to our culture's fascination with staple foods during storm warnings brings me to this.

"The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from

heaven. He replied,“When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the

morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the

appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous

generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left

them and went away." (Matthew 16:1-4, NIV)

I believe humanity has an innate sense of self preservation and coupled with a sense of needing to have all things under control often leads people to react with heightened paranoia. Maybe paranoia is too strong a word. I suppose when we go to the store to get staple foods it is our way of controlling an impending storm or other unknown event.

Jesus said many times to not worry and to not fear. His overriding message to humanity was and is to be ready when he returns. I'm guilty in that I have read His words of instruction and still react with human weaknesses. Why? Because my faith is always being tested and stretched as God checks for areas of weakness within me. I am ready for Christ's return and I have gathered the appropriate supplies when that event occurs. It is a gift that was given me when I said yes to Jesus. Salavation and the power of the Holy Spirit are my staples. How about you?

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