Wednesday, September 4, 2013
This past summer has been marked by the strangest weather patterns around the globe that I can ever remember. The East Coast was wracked with heat wave upon heat wave (not that unusual by itself). England and Ireland, where Star and the girls and I visited was record temperatures all summer (over 90 F). Here in the Intermountain West, we have had thunderstorms every night, and hail the size of grapefruit (...just tired of always hearing hail compared to sports balls, baseballs, golf balls). And of course, in the Midwest (particularly Oklahoma), they experienced more tornadoes of huge magnitude than any summer on record. After this Armageddon-esque summer climate change, the National Weather Service began to coin a new acronym that indicated that tough weather times lay ahead. It was:
PDS - short for - A "Particularly Dangerous Situation"
It strikes me that this new acronym, PDS, is too good to only be applied only to weather conditions. Lots of things could be PDS's. The next time you get a phone call from someone upset with you, who really wants to yell at you, say to yourself, "this phone call is a PDS, be careful." If you have to change a baby's diaper, and if you feel like the damage caused by the baby's nether-regions might be worse than usual, you could call it a "PDS." "Honey, come quickly, our daughter has a PDS - a particularly dangerous situation." Let's say you have a meeting that you are going to be encountering more than one difficult personality, and volatile topic matter. Tell yourself beforehand, "I am entering a PDS, be careful."
From a spiritual standpoint, I believe that Christ followers need to be extra aware of seasons in their life when they encounter more PDS's than usual. The normal term for this, in Spiritual parlance is, "Spiritual Attack." Sometimes calling a time period in one's life "Spiritual Attack," can be an apt metaphor, sometimes it can be an over-reach in verbosity. I love what Nicky Gumble, of ALPHA Bible Studies says about Spiritual Attack. Nicky deeply believes in Spiritual Attack, and also believes that when one is in a season of attack, the best thing is to be extra aware, extra bathed in prayer, extra listening, extra attentive to what's happening around us, and extra tuned into God.
My experience has also been that calling every challenge that comes along in our lives, "Spiritual Attack," can have the effect of giving the Evil one too much credit. As Lewis said, "We should not take the evil one too seriously, nor should we take him too lightly." Calling every challenge that arrises in our lives, "Spiritual Attack", can have the impact of over-spiritualizing normal everyday challenges that all of us face. So, let's call them a new name, let's call them PDS's. People who are always looking to pick a fight with you can be PDS's (or maybe it would be more apt to call them PDP's - "particularly dangerous people"). Particular types of meetings, where you have to be extra careful what you say, can be PDS's (or maybe it would be better to call them PDM's - "particularly dangerous meetings"). Areas of sin which are constant recurrences in a person's life could be called PDS's (or again, maybe better to call them, PDAS's - particularly dangerous Areas of Sin.
Sometimes simply the awareness in our lives that we are about to encounter a PDS, and then a quick prayer before it, can make all the difference.
All For Now,