“Is this current warm weather more than a trend? Perchance this winter has come to an end? There is no shadow to be cast. An early spring is my forecast!” So announced Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most famous groundhog, yesterday morning.
Actually, Jeff Lundy, vice president of the Inner Circle of The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, read Phil’s pronouncement to a crowd of about 10,000. In truth, the Inner Circle decides on a forecast ahead of time and announces it. They’ve been doing this since at least 1887, during which Phil has predicted more winter 102 times and forecasted an early spring only eighteen times.
Lest you get excited about Phil’s prognostication, note that handlers of Michigan’s Woody the Woodchuck said she predicted six more weeks of winter. The same for Ohio’s Buckeye Chuck. Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam called for an early spring, while Ontario’s Wiarton Willie forecast six more weeks of winter. It seems we have a split decision.
Much was the same for the Democratic caucuses in Iowa Monday night. Yesterday afternoon, party officials announced that Hillary Clinton won by the smallest margin ever. Since Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders seem to have strong leads in New Hampshire, no one knows where the races will go next.
Does it seem the world is less predictable than ever?
Netflix eliminated Blockbuster. Craigslist threatens the advertising revenues of local newspapers, while your cell phone’s Internet access threatens your local library. Homeowners rent rooms to strangers; workers deliver groceries and restaurant meals to your home; you can order an on-the-spot valet. Ride-sharing service Uber is now valued at more than $60 billion.
How much of this would you have predicted five years ago?
Things could be simpler. I was in Cuba when George W. Bush and Al Gore essentially tied for president in 2000. Fidel Castro immediately announced that he would be glad to help resolve our dilemma, since Cuban elections always go so smoothly. Of course, they have only one candidate.
We could have a political system where outsiders never defeat insiders us or an economy where start-ups never get started. But I choose complexity over complacency, a world in which we must trust the unknown future to our all-knowing Father.
The next time you worry about tomorrow, remember what God did for you yesterday. Corrie ten Boom: “Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.” All our Lord has done, he can still do (Hebrews 13:8).
And all of God there is, is in this moment.