Not too long ago someone told me they didn’t understand the term: “inclement weather.” To me it’s pretty straight forward: if my favorite TV program is interrupted to tell me about the weather, it is inclement.

Then they said something that made me reconsider the definition. They said, “Weather is weather. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it’s sunny. Other times it is crisp. Then again it could be warm. Nothing is really good or bad weather. It’s just the weather.”

At this point I could have argued that inclement weather is of the severe type that causes us to take shelter but I was so struck by her point that I let it go.

We always tend to rate things in life as “good” or “bad” when they really are just things. I know I sound a bit Pollyanna here but I think that we can really make things good and fun out of things that other people perceive as bad.

When I started out in the ministry, I got three regular negative responses:

1) The pay is low.
2) Church people are crazy.
3) It’s hard on your family.

All of which are true (if you’re upset by #2, please note you need to have a certain level of craziness to do the things Jesus calls you to do.). However, these things have helped me budget wisely, put less emphasis on money, know that I’m crazy too, and put my family before my job but not before God. In return I’ve found these three regular positive responses:

1) We are all called. Whether to volunteer or to seek ordination. Pay isn’t the issue. Faithfulness is.
2) I believe in grace for the sane and insane. Therefore I need to practice it as well.
3) My family and church family has never been stronger. We always hit rocky points but we learn. We grow.

So when the real or virtual weather out there seems bad, remember to stick close to our mission and calling, listen to your beliefs, and snuggle close to your family. Those will get you through most anything.