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What You're Used To

Part of my wing of the chemistry building is undergoing a much needed renovation. This week however, they have to shut off ALL chilling water to my wing, which includes the air conditioning, to replace a pump or valve or something that services the part being renovated and my part of the wing. That’s fine, but we are having a heat wave with temperatures in the upper 90’s. Going through the door from the next wing into mine is like stepping into a rain forest. It makes me wonder—before central air, how did my predecessors do it?

My wing was built around 1929 I think, and has the large windows and high ceilings indicative of a pre-air conditioning design. It was hot back then, too, and the dress codes much more formal.

I know that those folks who are outdoors all summer become accustomed to the heat and humidity—God has made us amazingly adaptable, but it still awes me to consider what conditions people have lived in for most of human history, including many parts of the world today.

I had a friend who just got back yesterday from a trip to India, Nepal, Tibet and who knows where else in that region. She wrote on Facebook, “Ok, here is my OCD confession. India was so dirty that I came home and LITERRALLY [sic] washed the money that I kept as a souvenier [sic] in the washer machine and just now washed my suitcase in the bathtub.” I can only imagine.

I am so grateful for being placed in a time and country where we have modern conveniences—I regularly praise God for His second greatest gift of all—A/C. At the same time, I respect greatly those who did/do remarkable feats without all of the comforts and aids we enjoy.

Our relative success may be partially based on the conditions to which we are accustomed, but it is still worthwhile to remember those who have/had it worse, and honor their achievements, and even ask ourselves honestly if we could measure up. And, when such challenges come, face them, because of the great clouds of witnesses which surround us.


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