Surely there are more interesting things to talk about than the weather.
I have noticed an interesting phenomenon in recent weeks. Everyone around me talks about one thing. The weather.
The regional Victorian town where I live is often mentioned on the nightly TV news as recording the state’s highest temperature for the day. We recently endured a long run of heatwave conditions—for the first 22 days of January we sweltered through 12 days of more than 40°C, with overnight temperatures not dipping below 28°C.
We make comments to each other, such as, “It’s going to be another scorcher today”, or “How are you coping with the heat?” and “Is it still terrible outside?” The weather is in the electronic media, it’s in the newspaper headlines. It seems to dominate our lives.
We had welcome relief from the extreme temperatures for a few days, but we still talked about the weather. Conversations then centred around when the next heatwave was forecast.
Why do we do it? Talking about the weather doesn’t achieve much—it’s not news for those of us living through it and it certainly doesn’t make it any cooler—yet we can have lengthy conversations with complete strangers about the heat.
One of my minister friends used the sign outside his church to give a spiritual twist to the heatwave. It read: “Still not as hot as hell!” While this brought a smile to my face, I reflected on the fact that it seems so easy to talk about the weather, but not so easy to talk about spirituality.
There is a passage in the Bible that says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter chapter 3 verse 15). How often do we talk about God? I’ve noticed that my conversations don’t often seem to move on from shallow subjects to matters of a spiritual nature. This started me thinking of ways to navigate through the chit-chat into deeper topics that could have more eternal impact.
The weather is always going to be a hot topic, but there are so many other important things to talk about. If you have questions about God, don’t be shy about striking up a conversation about him. You’ll find people like me at your local Salvation Army church who are always ready to talk about our faith.
Belinda Davis is a Salvation Army officer serving in Mildura.
Her blog can be found at www.ablessedlife2017.wordpress.com