I’m always so amazed by the works of God’s creation. Have you ever stopped what you are doing, and just taken the time to look outside? Seriously, go step outside. Take a moment, wherever you are, take off your shoes, and let your feet sink into the soft grass. Feel the gentle breeze of the wind, and the warmth of the sun, as the heat of it’s rays shine down on your skin. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and relax. Smell the fresh comforting scent of the flowers, and listen to the rustling of the trees. Now look up, and take in the beauty of the deep blue sky, and the clouds that surround it. Clouds. They seem so simple, yet they are much more complex then we realize. We usually see them and think nothing of them, but they are really quite fascinating if you do take the time to learn about them.
Did you know that there are several different types of clouds? You probably learned this in science class when you were in elementary school. If you are anything like me though, you may have forgotten. There are four main types of clouds: cirrus, cumulus, stratus and nimbus. In addition to these, there are cirrostratus, cirrocumulus, altostratus, altocumulus, stratocumulus, nimbostratus, and cumulonimbus clouds.
Mind boggling isn’t it? Now, I know what you are thinking, “Angela, really? Why are you giving me a science lesson in the middle of the day? My brain is fried from work right now…just get to the point!” I’m getting there, I promise. Just bare with me.
To make it simple, cirrus clouds are in the high cloud category (clouds that are 16,500-45,000 ft. above us). These usually have a feathery appearance in the sky, and are made up of several tiny ice crystals.
Next we have cumulus clouds, which are in the low cloud category (clouds that are less than 6,500 ft. above us). These are the clouds that are pictured in the photo above this post. You know, the ones that look like fluffy, white cotton balls in the sky. They vary in different shapes and sizes, which makes them fun to look at, especially with your kids! You might look up and see the Statue of Liberty, while your kids might see an ice cream cone. The possibilities are endless when you use your imagination.
Third are stratus clouds. These are also low-level, and usually consist of layers that cover up a larger portion of the sky; like a thin blanket. They are flat and gray in color, and sometimes produce a light drizzle or small amount of snow.
And finally, nimbus clouds. These too are low-level dark clouds, and they give us our rain, snow, and hail.
Now, have you ever stopped to think about how much clouds actually weigh? The average cumulus cloud weighs 1.1 million pounds, according to scientists. That’s a lot of water weight!
Give yourself a pat on the back, because you just reached the end of our science lesson. You learned most of what you need to know about clouds, so the next time you look up into the sky, you should be able to know what type of clouds you are looking at.
The point of all of this wasn’t to give you a science lesson, but to take the time to see, learn, and appreciate the boundless beauty of God’s magnificent creation. Much like the sky is full of clouds, the world is full of so many people who are just waiting for someone to tell them about Christ. That someone could be you.
We are only here for a short amount of time. The clouds are always moving, and under constant change, as is this world, and our lives. Just like the clouds are floating away and getting lost into the distance, so is time. How are you using the time that God has given you? Don’t let the things of this world distract you from what truly matters. Don’t let so much time go by that you look back with regret, wondering where it all went, and what you did with it. Be thankful for what God has given to you. Appreciate the little things. Find and use the talents and gifts God has given you before you no longer can. Make sure you are living and doing the things that God has called you to do, because tomorrow might never come.
Copyright © 2019 Angela J. Stout.