Emotional Temperature

I once worked at a camp. At the camp their was a storm outside. It was a significant storm so we all had to go to the basement. The camp was for people that had some physical or mental impairment. So it was a big deal to get everyone safe down stairs. It was about 20 campers and 5 staff that I was in charge of that evening, maybe slightly more campers and staff. The room was quite full.

I am not a big weather person. Any given day you could comment about the weather and I would struggle to even remember what it was like outside. I only seem to notice the great days, anyone else LOVE autumn weather? Or I notice the extremely cold days where your face hurts when you walk outside. Perhaps, the days where you can cook an egg on the sidewalk, I also take note. I have seen tornadoes in the sky before and was more in awe of their power over the feeling of fear. Therefore, storms rarely ever scare me much but this particular storm certainly did. As we huddled together the crack of thunder shook the room. The sound of trees falling was heard and felt on the tile we sat.

Once everyone was fully settled downstairs I snuck off to another room to listen to the weather report on the radio. This was so long ago it was before smart phones were in our daily lives. I listened to the report and was even more scared about a sighted tornado near by. I had a choice to walk out of the room and let everyone know how panicked I was or to walk out with calm because regardless of whatever was going to happen there was nothing else I could do about it.

I walked out of the room and just walked around with a gentle smile. No words. No fear in my eyes. Just total acceptance of whatever God had in store for us. No storm could shake my inmost calm. It was one of the first times I ever experienced and noticed that I was not only in control of my own emotional state but also held an unspeakable power of changing the emotional temperature in the room. The room went from tense to calm in a matter of a minute.

I may not notice the weather outside but ask me what the emotional temperature of a room and I could likely comment. Maybe not with big picture accurately but at least I know how someone else in the room is likely feeling. I always seem to be at the mercy of my surroundings in that way. Not only that, I often know the unspoken leader that holds the thermostat. Anyhow, I never understand that statement of caring about minding my own business, as if it is biblical to ignore our brothers and sisters in the room. A viewpoint that get’s me into messes conventional wisdom tells me to simply ignore if I could. Obviously, the people who like to keep to themselves do not really like me much. However, we are not called to be loved by everyone but to love everyone.

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