cropped-bell-route.jpgThermostats are attractive nuisances. They are dangerous instruments and touching one can put you in serious jeopardy. Therefore we have tried in public institutions, like churches, to surround them with fences in the form of plastic lockable boxes, so that people will leave them alone. To no avail. We misplaced the keys long ago, and it’s easier just to take that silly lid off and reset the dial where we want it. Now that we have thermostats that can be preset for both summer and winter, the feud between the hot-blooded and the cold-blooded can go on in all seasons. (I will not admit to being cold-blooded.)
Whoever is first to set the thermostat never has the final word. In a building that is big and complicated, like Zion Church, there is no available science that can indicate a comfort zone that fits everyone. One must also consider the delay factor. Since it takes about thirty minutes to reach the indicated temperature, those who are chilly may reset the thermostat a dozen times while waiting for it to reach their goal, not knowing that they may have passed their own target temperature several times. When the temperature finally reaches the last setting, and the room fills with people and the body heat they bring into it, those who enjoy the climate a little cool have baked to a crisp.
The problem in these days is aggravated by the need to save energy and not add more carbon to the atmosphere. One side pretends to be more righteous when they want to turn the heat down. The other responds with “Insulate! Insulate! Insulate!” as they turn the heat up.
It is not an easy compromise in a building as small as my house, where two people do not agree on a satisfactory setting. One likes the stat set at 62, the other 72. Guess who? “Put on more clothing.” “Wrap up in a blanket.” And that’s for mid-summer. “It’s easier to put clothing on than to take it off.” “Who says so?” This is conversation?
Do you snowbirds in the Sunbelt have this problem? I reckon you do.
How many other opinionated preference issues are like this? Don’t even get started trying to make a list.
Who knew that the thermostat would be the most divisive issue that a couple would face in their long and enjoyable marriage? Who knew that a church, of all places, would find that a temperature setting would be the best indicator of their spiritual capacity for mutual love and understanding?
“Turn up the heat” faces off with “Let’s be cool!” Lord Jesus, will you help us figure out what energy setting keeps us from being lukewarm in our faith?