A prayer of gratitude for air conditioning—but also for the shade of a leafy tree...
Posted in , Jul 17, 2012
Dear Lord, I don’t want you to think I’m not grateful for air conditioners and the God-given wisdom of the engineers who made them and keep them humming.
Norman Vincent Peale used to say that in the last century, the invention that had made the biggest difference in his 94 years was air conditioning. I can’t imagine working in an office without it. Or sitting in a movie theater or shopping at the market or driving on a noisy Interstate. Blessings on the inventiveness of your creatures.
But, God, don’t let me forget the natural air conditioning you also gave. There is cooling in the breeze on a summer afternoon and the shade of a leafy tree and the long drink of water on a hot day, even more welcome because of the heat. Let me still enjoy sleeping with the windows open so that I can hear the wind in the trees and the approach of the thunderstorm and the much-prayed-for rain splattering against the parched ground. For the weather, both heat and cold, let me give you thanks.
And just because I’m in the artificial comfort of an air-conditioned room, forgetting how hot it is outside, don’t let me lose one shred of compassion for the farmers in the field, the road workers on the highway, the police officers on the beat, the construction workers laboring in the sun. We are all your children in the shade of your hand.
The world turns on its axis, the days are already growing a little shorter, the nights a little longer. The cold winter day will come when I will wish for a blast of this summer air. But for now I give you thanks for the AC and the chance it gives me to write this without beads of sweat pooling at my fingertips. I owe my comfort to the BTUs and ConEd and more people than I can imagine.
Lord, in your wisdom, keep us all cool.