Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 14, 2013

On Being Cold

It’s cold in Houston — something of a treat for those of us who live in the barely two-seasons South. As a child of the South, cold has always been a relative term. What I consider to be cold does not even blip on the radar of my friends who live in places where temperatures plunge into the nether regions of thermometers. But, I have experienced extremely cold temperatures over the years as I have traveled the globe. Just thinking about some of those experiences makes me shiver.

Perhaps the coldest I have ever been was in the late Winter of 2000 when I visited the Reindeer People of Northern Mongolia. It took us seven days to reach these nomadic reindeer herders who live just south of Siberia. I knew it was cold the day I was warming my feet by the fire and did not notice that my thermal socks had melted on my feet! My team and I slept in teepee-like tents in temperatures that dropped to 20 to 30 degrees below zero. I could write an entire blog about the challenges of trying to go potty outdoors in this kind of weather. Oh my soul — I thought I was going to die!

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The night before we headed into the mountains.

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Getting ready to cross a frozen lake on horseback.

Last week, my friend Doyle and I camped out at Palmetto State Park south of Luling, Texas. Although the temperature was in the mid-forties, it was still cold. I slept on an air mattress only because I had bought one for $10 at Academy and thought it would be a good idea. Big mistake. Sleeping on an air mattress in cold weather is like sleeping on a tray of ice cubes. The air mattress was more comfortable than the ground but the air in the mattress turned as cold as the outside air. I toughed it out nevertheless and refused the temptation to go sleep in my truck.

The term “cold” has worked its way into our vocabulary in a variety of negative ways. We refer to impersonal or cruel people as being cold as ice, having a cold heart, giving us the cold shoulder, or being cold and calculating. There is, however, also a more positive way to think about the cold. Cold is also invigorating and has a way of refreshing and reviving us, especially when it’s hot outside.

In the book of Revelation, God sent a message to the church at Laodicea, a wealthy city located in the Lycus Valley in ancient Asia Minor. He told the folks at this church that He wished they were hot or cold (Rev. 3:15)! The reference to being cold in this verse is actually good. The Laodiceans were familiar with the cold waters of the nearby city of Colossae. The waters there were fed by streams that flowed from the snow-covered heights of Mount Cadmus. On hot days, people enjoyed bathing in the invigorating waters of Colossae.

Our lives should have a quality akin to the cold waters of Colossae. People in need of help and who are despairing should find in us an invigorating and refreshing quality that gives them hope and makes them come alive again. Sometimes all it takes is a smile, a word, a look, or a little bit of personal interest to make someone feel that they are loved, valued, or appreciated. So, make it a point to be a little cold to the folks around you — those who have been beat down by the heat of their trials, troubles, and frustrations. May your interaction with them refresh them and renew their hope.


Responses

  1. well said


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