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The other day when I went to walk the dog it was 1 degree out…that is ONE as in… ONE. And that wasn’t even including the wind chill factor. It warmed up to 3 degrees a while later. Two days later it was a balmy 9 degrees, eventually hitting the low twenties by mid afternoon. We have been in an Arctic freeze the last few weeks and that doesn’t even begin to capture how uncomfortably cold it has been.

But that “cold” is relative, isn’t it?

I can tell you how cold its been, but that is coming from someone who has a roof over his head, a warm house to live in and hot meals every day. My “cold” is quite different from the “cold” that people who are homeless experience. And the “cold” we experience here is very different than the “cold” that the folks in Brimson, Minnesota have to deal with at negative 40 degrees this winter. And that is only relatively cold compared to the winters in Yakutsk, Russia where the temperatures could drop as low as negative 100 degrees (and yes, people live there). So as bad as it gets, it is all relative….because it could be worse. Or it could be better. The weather, like the rest of life…is relative. How you deal with and respond to your relative condition, whether its the weather or any other thing in life, will have a lot to do with your perceptions and attitudes. That is why Paul writes in Romans “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2). In Philippians 4:8 he writes: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

Which leads me to another thought.

There is a huge difference between 1 degree and 9 degrees! It doesn’t seem like much, those 8 degrees, but I have to tell you that it felt a whole lot warmer to me. It wasn’t wear my shorts, T-shirt and flip flops warm…but it was a warmth that was noticeably different. Just a few degrees…who would think that it would ever feel that different?

Sometimes we may feel lonely…or distant…from the Lord and others. To move out of that place…to a place that is warmer and healthier, we must move in the direction of health and life. Even a small step in that direction and toward’s that end makes a huge difference. It may not be where you want to be or need to be in your relationship with Christ, but it is heading in the right direction. One degree at a time. It could be a lot better…but it could be a lot worse as well.

So take take those steps…and watch as the ice begins to melt and the cold begins to snap. In the book of James we read…“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)…or, if I may, “Draw near to God, one degree at a time, and He will draw near to you, one degree at a time.” And since I am in the enhancing mode, let me rewrite a line from George Harrison and the Beatles…”Here comes the Son, and I say, its all right.”

By the way, only 68 days until the first day of Spring.

What do you think?