The Star-Telegram of Forth Worth Texas had a story yesterday celebrating the 110th Anniversary of Air Conditioning. Not Kidding! On the hottest day of the year here in Southwestern Ontario we were all giving thanks to God and to Willis Carrier for the gift of AC. These words from The Star-Telegram:

“On this day 110 years ago, Willis H. Carrier cranked up the first air conditioner at a printing plant to keep ink impressions on paper during a particularly hot, humid summer in Brooklyn, N.Y., according to the air-conditioning company that still bears his name. He went on to earn more than 80 patents on devices that controlled temperature, ventilation, indoor air and humidity, the company says.”[1]

Now in those days the cooling was important for manufacturing purposes. It sounds as though the real driving force behind the invention was not to keep workers cool, but to keep the product cool. Thank the Lord someone noticed that it also brings down the body temperature considerably. I simply cannot understand what people did before homes and work places were cooled. This of course was not something that I was at all worried about growing up in Newfoundland where one could usually count on a nice ocean breeze to keep cool. These oppressive temperatures were never a concern for us as summer days were usually warm but not HOT and evenings always were cool enough to sleep well.  When I first cane to SW Ontario, I must confess that the heat was the biggest environmental challenge for me and it remains so today.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the worship space at St. Aidan’s has AC. Preaching while sweating like a hen-hauling-wood is no fun, believe me. Although there is the added bonus of being able to use the line, “You think this is hot…. hell is hotter!”  So on the hottest day of the year, I think I was glad to raise a cold glass to my friend Willis Carrier. What a fine man he is.

Today is about is not much better than yesterday as the heat goes. So, I am taking heart in Proverbs 11:25 – Generous persons will prosper: those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. So in the heat of today, if we see one another, let us offer one to another, an appropriate adult beverage. You go first if you like – I would not want to take away your opportunity to refresh others.  Ah, … it’s ok…. I’ll go first even… Let’s just enjoy the beverage, the time together, the refreshment, and the fellowship! And of course, we shall toast Willis Carrier….  he has refreshed many people!

Here’s to Willis Carrier