It’s hot here in West Texas. Our high today will be 106, already following several days of near or over hundred degree temperatures. Our forecast for the coming week is 107, 107, 106, 98, 104, 106. 107, a “warm spell”, as the old-timers say. I’d be profusely sweating, if there was any moisture in the air. But its a dry heat, a desert scorcher.
I’ve had to push my daily walks into the evenings, to coincide with sunset. Even then, the temps are still in the mid to high nineties. The constant heat has greatly reduced the number of walkers, bikers and joggers; the last two evenings I’ve only seen one other walker. Even the birds seem to be mostly listless.
Yesterday, I thought I’d try to do some mall walking. Those of you who know me well, know that I’m allergic to in-store shopping. But the heat has been so darn intense, I thought I’d try it. It was 103 already as I drove over to the mall; I searched the entire mall parking lot, seeking shade beneath a tree. I got lucky and finally found some, though I had to share it with a grumpy old protective bird.
The mall in Odessa is a good-sized one, complete with their own ice rink. There were a number of younger skaters, taking advantage of the cold. The mall has a nice, long walking path, for walkers much like me. As per usual, there were many shoppers walking around, but I was one of just a few that actually were “mall walking.” I made it two times around the mall, but my doing so about made me go berserk. For a guy who depends almost entirely on Amazon, two spins around the mall were all that I could take!
I gratefully walked out to my car, and turned the a/c to stun. When I got home, I gave a contented sigh of relief as the house was like a freezer. Cookie asked me how it went; she’s been a bit unhappy with my taking late evening walks. Not so good, I replied, “Mall walking drives me insane, as you surely know. I’ve grown even more allergic to the act of shopping.”
And so, at 8:30 last night I left the house, just as the sun went down. It was still so warm, that even the birds looked peaked. I walked a couple miles, about all that I could handle. As I walked, I got to thinking about Jesus and his disciples. The latitude they had traveled in was much the same as ours. And yet, they had no malls to walk in, and none of the blessed air conditioning. And yet, they walked from well to well and town to town, spreading Christ’s loving message. Perhaps the Word they both lived, and spoke, gave them the strength and grace to do it.