The Power of a Cloud: (Audio)
I will not do this justice, but as I transitioned from sleep to awake earlier this morning, this startling thought rattled in my brain.
Can we duplicate a cloud in a laboratory setting?
Can we recreate all the forces at play on the earth, create a weather system, and show how clouds form? Can we force these clouds to mimic the epic hurricanes we just went through? Can we make them produce rain, snow, hail, or sleet? Can we control all the forces at play to show a cloud marching across the sky as a storm blows in?
Of course, we can…to some degree… Just Google it and you can find plenty of experiments making clouds inside of various sized bottles. Here’s my favorite nerdy approach with a lot of explanations. (Click here)
But what my brain was working through earlier was the power of all the elements in play to make clouds form, produce rain or snow, and finally, dissipate. You know, high and low-pressure systems that force weather systems to act one way or the other, move here, no, move there. Even the idyllic marching of clouds on a sunny day as they form images we match in our mind. Look, there’s a bunny rabbit! Have you ever thought that most storm systems move a specific direction most of the time? Maybe there’s a reason, and maybe it has to do with the season and the spin of the earth, but inquiring minds want to know the answers!
Have you ever watched clouds build up, and then watch them disappear?
Back in the early 1980’s, we moved to Alaska and our first apartment was at 3330 Boniface, #31…Anchorage. It’s amazing I can remember this, but it was a memorable time of life. Sitting at the dining table one day, and gazing toward the Chugach Mountains, I watched clouds forming in the valleys between Flattop and another peak. Poof. They form, and almost as quickly they would disappear. It was an amazing time and has kept me thinking about the formation of clouds for a long time. Where do they come from? Where do they go?
What effects are in play to create clouds and then, poof, they’re gone. The spin of the earth? Gravity? Cold? Heat? Day? Night? Seasons? What does high/low pressure do with the forming of a cloud? Think about it. We know the “hurricane season” on the eastern seaboard, but here in the Pacific Northwest, we get winter systems that march in from Hawaii that we call the Pineapple Express and we will get major weather that will last for days! Hurricane force winds will blow, trees fall, rivers flood, snow in the elevation, ice layering trees and power lines…all of this will last for days! We get williwaw’s where the wind blows in from the mountains toward the coast and normally brings in the dry desert air and makes it really hot!
I guess my thought this morning was really focused on the “behind the scenes” activities that make clouds, but my deeper thought revolved around the undercurrents of human dynamics, those forces that propel us to act and react. “To be, or not to be, that is the question.” Whether it’s political, racial, cultural, or something as simple as Mac vs Windows, we all have background forces that move us down certain paths to our actions.
These forces produce events! Some results are needed, desired and timely. Other times they are not. Destructive? Maybe. Produce good results? Depends! It’s almost like there’s an undercurrent pushing us to some landfall moment and we will need to respond to it whether we are prepared or not.
The key is that we are not all on the same page at the same time! Those “behind the scene” forces keep us marching to a different tune and a different tempo, each seemingly content with their personal music.
We are each different, and the forces at work in our lives comes from different sources. We are ill-prepared to deal with storms outside of our comfort zone. To change the clouds in our lives, we must change the background forces that produce these clouds and resulting storms.
It was Solomon who wrote, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” (Proverbs 23:7) This speaks volumes to me! We have to change the background forces so that think better, and differently, so that the resulting “me is the best me that me knows how” (I said this to a boss who wanted me to be more like him…and we all resisted his pressure to conform!)
It was Peter who dealt with these background forces that kept him humming contentedly down his path of life. Although his path was enlightened with new forces, the old path kept him penned up with old thoughts and ways. God revealed a new path and Peter did not understand until he saw the result of God’s move. He summed up the event like this:
“…Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons…” Acts 10:34
Background forces, and willing heart, and a thoughtful view of the future. Storm clouds will vanish. Rabbit clouds will appear. Soon. It will be better. I’m sure!