I remember so vividly. I was in the hospital room. My wife lay in bed, and the doctor came in with sad news.
Doctor: I am so sorry your wife is still in a coma; we have done everything we can. It’s in God’s hands now.
Me: Wait, let me try one more thing goes to adjust the thermostat
Wife: Eyes open immediately!
Ok, so this didn’t happen, but if you knew my wife, you would 100% believe it did. She is cold all the time. She has blankets placed strategically around the house like a professional assassin with a weapon always nearby. If the thermostat is changed one degree, she can feel it in her bones, and there will be consequences and repercussions to the offending party.
I say she is both a thermometer and a thermostat.
Are you a thermometer and a thermostat?
In our everyday lives, things are going to happen. Some good and some bad. How we respond to these events determines who we are. It’s like patience. People think waiting for something to happen is patience. Patience isn’t waiting. Patience is “how” you wait.
When you are a thermometer, you are reacting to your surroundings. Did you have a bad day, or did you have a bad 5 minutes that you milked all day? Getting cut off in traffic and spilling your coffee at 5:30 am should not have you in a bad mood at 12:37 pm. That is when we are being a thermometer.
On the other hand, to be a thermostat, you control the temperature in the room. Everyone has that friend that says the most inappropriate things to where someone has to tell them, “Hey, read the room, not right now.” To be the thermostat means when you spill your coffee, you can be frustrated and upset. But by the time you get to work, you have that smile on your face, and you love people with the love of Christ.
Be a thermostat
Be the change you want to see. A thermostat changes the settings. Being a Christian requires you to be more intentional. To be more proactive than reactive. We aren’t supposed to wait for things to happen. We are supposed to be making them happen. And when the unforeseen does happen to us, we are prepared because we have a love of Christ living in us and not some cold-hearted love.
One time my wife came home and decided we would start eating something called “kale.” I told her she really shouldn’t make up words because it confuses the kids. But she was serious, something about superfoods and better health. So I tried to eat this expensive leaf nonsense. Kale can’t be real food; it just can’t be.
They don’t warn you about this often ugly side of marriage. When your wife makes you regret dinner, but I will love her through this. She took my childish behavior in stride and decided to be a thermostat and showed me my numbers from my physical health and problems men over 40 can have, so she took control of the situation. So long story short, kale is in regular rotation in our house.
We, as Christians, are called to change the world. It starts with a single step. It starts with us deciding we won’t let our circumstances dictate who we are. It’s not what they call you; it’s what you answer to. We are children of God, and that is awesome. You are not a failure; you are not a mistake. God made you influence your surroundings. He has given us all the tools and resources we need. We have to tap into it. So in every situation, you come across where you find yourself being frustrated or angry, ask yourself, Am I a thermostat or a thermometer?
Prescott Williamson is a Bible-believing Christian. He is a husband, a father, and someone who believes that there is a little humor to be found in whatever situation God sends your way. He was born in the small islands of the Bahamas but now lives in the Suburbs of Fort Worth Texas, which is basically the same thing. He enjoys TV, reading, blogging and serving in his church (especially on the days they serve donuts). You can see what I have been thinking about lately on my blog www.prescottascoolbreeze.com.