The Pastor’s Piece – April 16, 2023

The Pastor’s Piece


April 16, 2023

About three weeks ago we had 15 inches of snow. As I type these words, we’ve now had a week of 80 degree weather. Looking ahead to what is now this week, it looks like the temps are going to drop about 25 degrees. I even see snow in the forecast. So we go from 85 degrees to snow. Some people say, “what is going on with our weather. We’ve never had weather like this before.” Ah, but we have. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in the great outdoors and who has any kind of memory, can attest to the biblical fact, that when it comes to the weather, there is nothing new under the sun. Even the apocalypse predictions, those who, for the last few decades, have predicted the end of the world in ten years due to climate change, have failed to come through on 100% of their predictions. We’re still here, but the false predictions keep on coming, stirring up fear in the hearts of some people. 

March and April are brutal months in this area. Brutal because it’s possible to experience all four seasons on the same day during those months. You can have a beautiful, balmy sunrise give way to rain and sleet and blowing snow and sub-freezing temperatures by nightfall. Or snow can give way to sunshine and warm temperatures, only to come back again in a fierce vengeance. Just when you think it’s safe to put away your boots and shovel, it’s all back.

Back in the day, as a farm kid, we did our field work with open station tractors. I remember going out in the morning to plow and it would be pleasant enough, to the point where all you needed was a jacket. As the day went on, that jacket would be found hanging on a fence post at the end of the field. Later, you could find our t-shirts hanging on fence posts as well. Of course, we’d get a nice sunburn from it, but we never seemed to learn or mind for that matter. Soaking in the sun and getting fried to a crisp was a spring ritual. As evening approached on the tractor seat, we soon realized we had to retrieve our shirts because it was getting a bit chilly. By the time the sun went down, we’d have walked back across the end of the field and found our coats. Before very long, we were wearing snowmobile suits to keep warm. It was downright cold. 

One year, we had a week of 90 degree weather in the middle of March. We got most of our spring chisel plowing done, and were simply waiting around for April to arrive so we could start planting. Yet, two weeks later we had a late winter blizzard and we couldn’t even get out of the driveway. Another year, we were about half done planting when we got a snow storm on April 30th that stopped us cold in our tracks. 

After the world-wide flood, God made this promise to Noah: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease,” (Genesis 8:22). God’s got this. 

Due to cold weather, high school baseball season in northwest Illinois and southwest Wisconsin was and still is a challenge. In order to get games in before the school year ended, we had to play in some pretty extreme weather. Our season started indoors with practice in the gym where we learned the fundamentals of hitting, fielding, base running, and sliding. I can still hear the pop of the ball echoing off the gym walls as it hit the catcher’s mitt. The pitcher stood on a makeshift  mound constructed out of plywood set on the floor. Once things dried out outside, we were able to get in a practice or two before our first game, which was always held in freezing cold temperatures and brutal winds. There’s nothing quite like the sting from an aluminum bat in your hands after you hit the ball on a 30 degree day with 30 mph winds out of the north whipping across the diamond.  No wonder the big league clubs build indoor stadiums. About the time when summer weather finally arrived, our season would be over and it was time to make hay while the sun shines. It’s funny how looking back now, playing baseball in that kind of weather almost seems unbearable, but at the time, it was just great to be out there playing and competing. Same thing with farming. Nowadays, sitting high and warm in our climate controlled tractors, we wonder how we could ever have done it the old school way. I wonder why it took so long for the inventors to figure out that we needed cabs on our tractors. But no matter the conditions – baseball or farming – it is still as much fun now as it ever was.

Did you know baseball is the first sport mentioned in the Bible? Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning (big inning) God created the heavens and the earth.” 

“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest. Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both,” (Ecclesiastes 11:4, 6).

(Kevin Cernek is Lead Pastor of Martintown Community Church in Martintown, Wisconsin).