The Tale of the Thermostat

by DanWolgemuth on January 16, 2015

The house that Mary and I bought in June of 2005 had a thermostat that could be managed with a scheduling setting. This included both furnace and air-conditioner settings.

Certainly there have been times when we’ve found this useful, but there have also been times when we have chosen to manually manage the temperature. Christmas was one of those times.

Our operational norm in the winter is 68 degrees during the day and 65 degrees at night. I’m not sure why… it just is.

However, family visits compelled Mary to reconsider these norms. Several times during the past three weeks we have hosted one or more of our grandchildren on an overnight stay. When the grands are sleeping, Mary’s new night time temperature setting rises to 67.

Then we hosted Eunice Cargo during the holidays. Mary’s mom is the last living parent that we have. We treasure her. She’s precious to us.

When Mom was in the house, Mary made sure that the house was “89-year-old comfortable.” That meant that our automatic system was overridden with age-honoring temperatures. 70 to 72 during the day, and usually 68 or 69 at night.

It was love and care that calibrated our thermostat during the last three weeks. It was compassion and tenderness that pressed into our norms.

“My house; my temps” found no traction in Mary’s heart. She set aside her own rhythm in thoughtful deference to the others that made our house their home. No requests were made. This wasn’t a reaction to a complaint, but rather an act of love.

Compassion pushed our thermostat. It increased our Xcel Energy bill. It impacted our personal preferences.

I’ve also learned that compassion and sensitivity don’t always require the same temperature. Relational knowledge yields merciful variation. And there are priorities in this mix, with sensitivity to the most vulnerable.

In order to create a culture that values what the King values, compassion trumps convenience. And as a microcosm of a true cosmic call, Jesus once again shows us the way.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 2:3-5)

My comfort, my preferences, my convenience don’t shape my Kingdom agenda. Not with my thermostat, or in my bank account, or on my calendar.

His Kingdom come. On earth. As it is in heaven.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: