Whenever there is a heat wave, somebody has to quip, “It’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk.” Between gum wads and animal business, I don’t even want to walk on the sidewalk, let alone fry an egg on it. Besides, a much better place to fry an egg would be on a metal slide at the playground. Nothing works better to make you rue the decision to wear shorts.
Most people agree that high temperatures are far less tolerable when combined with humidity. During the weather forecast, meteorologists state the humidity level, and we amateurs take their word for it. Would we ever know if they were wrong? They could be making up some random number, and we would remain clueless. Thankfully, those of us who have naturally curly hair can gauge humidity by how closely we resemble a Chia Pet.
According to experts, relative humidity is an estimate of how saturated the air is with water vapor. If you want to do your own calculations for finding the relative humidity, you take the mass of water vapor and divide it by the number of temper tantrums your children have per hour. Then you multiply this answer by the level of crankiness of everyone under the age of 99. The final calculation looks like this:
Mass of Water Vapor ÷ Tantrums/hour × Crankiness = Relative Humidity
A recent heat wave sent the nation into a tizzy. My kids surprised me by choosing to play upstairs in the sun-baked living room, rather than stay in my air-conditioned office. At one point, I came out of my frigid cave to make sure the kids were not stuck to the floor like the same melted gobs of goo that make me avoid the sidewalk. (I’ve heard tales of people getting stuck to their vinyl car seats, only to be rescued in the next cold front.) My vision was a little warped due to the frying of my eyeballs, but it appeared as though my children were playing as if nothing was wrong. As they were laughing and gallivanting about and completely ignoring the heat, I wondered, What is wrong with these people? Clearly this was a fluke, and the apostle Paul would have been proud, for he had “learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (Phil. 4:12).
This past winter the cold seemed unbearable, and in the summer the heat seems unbearable. When will I learn to be content? Even when Paul was in prison, he and his roommate were able to keep their cool and find joy.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
Unless you are a paid Broadway actor, periodically bursting into song is an expression of joy. Paul kept his Savior as his example and mentor. He knew that even though Jesus had been beaten beyond recognition and crucified, he never complained. Any complaint sounds so ridiculous compared to what Jesus endured. No one can understand “heat” the way he did.
I don’t think we fully realize how bold Paul was to be singing “Kumbaya” next to hardened criminals. The pressure cooker was on, and the heat of the situation was scorching, but Paul stayed content and made the best out of his situation.
Paul’s actions went beyond taking lemons and making lemonade. If it was hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk, Paul would have been cheerfully humming and serving up a brunch to his fellow prisoners. Somewhere in the midst of all this heat, if we look carefully through our melted eyeballs, we can still find contentment. Just watch where you’re walking.