Times of drought remind us to be thankful for better days

With all of my heart, I hope that T-shirts emblazoned with that slogan are soon printed and available. At this point, though, one wonders if they ever will be.

I hate to whine. Well, that’s probably not strictly true. Most whiners whine because they enjoy it, and while they’re doing it, they don’t have to do anything else—say, something constructive—but I digress as I whine. Back to the topic at hand . . .

It’s less fun whining about the drought when I realize that folks in other states are also dealing with horrific weather woes. Your choice on the meteorological menu this year seems to boil down to three: Would you rather be blown away by a tornado, washed away by a flood, or burnt to a crisp by 50 mph winds in 100-degree, bone dry, weather?

My part of the country is dealing with the latter. It’s a matter for tears to see farmers working to put seed in parched earth knowing that they have to waste their time and that seed by planting just for insurance, all the while sure that nothing could possibly survive and grow. Not this year. Last year was the kind of bumper crop a farmer waits a lifetime to see. This year is the kind of disaster a farmer also hopes he has to wait a lifetime to see, and prays that he never does. The contrast is jarring to the max.

One thing’s sure. I now know what the definition of a pretty day is. A pretty day is a day with very little wind. (The wind actually lay down for a couple of days last week, and though the ground was still dry as bug dust, life was better.) An unimaginably beautiful day around here is any day when it rains. (Which it no longer does.) I never thought I’d hear a farmer say he’d even take the frozen stuff dropping from the sky if it would just promise to eventually melt. But I’ve heard it now.

Along with the drought has come, of course, a siege of wildfires. It’s amazing that we haven’t had more, but we’ve had plenty. With this wind and those temperatures, a tiny spark easily becomes a conflagration.

Our land is not the only thing whose fuse has been shortened by the presently scorching drought. A good many of us living through this mess may also have noticed that our fuses are shorter than usual. It takes less to set us off as the earth is not the only thing parched by the unrelenting wind, dust, and heat. Our souls become parched for joy.

During such times we are warned about not creating sparks that might enflame the dry land. Wisdom might indicate a little of the same prudence around dry spirits. We are, after all, in this mess together.

The God who created this land will one day water it. I think it’s good to pray about that, and to remember that times like these remind us to be more thankful for times not like these. In all times, God is still God, and God is still good.

I’m sure ready for that t-shirt.

Curtis Shelburne is pastor of 16th & Ave. D. Church of Christ in Muleshoe. Contact him at ckshel@aol.com