April is just around the corner and typically that means April showers. However, these days the weather doesn’t always stick to its normal patterns. Nevertheless, I thought the time was right to build a blog based on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s quote, “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”
There is nothing we can do about the weather. We can’t change it, although in Maryland if you wait an hour it will likely change on its own. Whether it rains or shines should make no difference to us. If we are value driven, that is our focus, it isn’t a function of favorable weather or not. We live in our vision and not our circumstances.
Early in my high school football coaching tenure, it rained every Friday night. For a team that primarily threw the ball, our definition of running with the ball was, ‘yards after catch.’ It could have been a devastating season. However, we prepared for and managed the game as if all were normal. In full transparency I need to admit that I was always up in the coach’s box, so the rain never bothered me.
One of the many Stephen Covey’s adages that I follow is, ‘proactive people carry their own weather.’ It centers on choosing our response. We do not let anyone, or anything make our decisions or control our mood. Carrying our weather can be as simple as keeping a pleasant disposition. I found that watching it rain while sitting on the porch of a beach house, although counterintuitive, is a beautiful experience not a vacation ruined.
Tom Lehrer said, “Bad weather always looks worse through a window”. I would agree. It’s always worse until we are there, in the middle of things, getting things done. When we get outside, the weather never seems quite as bad. So go outside, get moving, get involved, and maybe get a little wet in the process. A favorite picture of my two older daughters, is of them playing in the rain.
“Life’s not about waiting for the storms to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene
“Singing In the Rain” is a class=”=””ic ‘put a smile on your face’ song. The song is best known as the centerpiece of the 1952 musical film “Singin’ in the Rain”, in which Gene Kelly dances to the song while splashing through puddles during a downpour. The song communicates the idea that even though the weather might be inclement and dreary, we can sing and dance in the rain.
Legendary songwriters, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, wrote their first million-seller song, “Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head,” for the film Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. It includes the line “I’m never gonna stop the rain by complaining.” Life is always going to have a few curve balls to throw at us, but that is not a reason to get down and pout. We can choose to make the best of things, live with gratitude, and persevere. Remember that when it is raining, the sun is technically still shining.
I love the quote from Dieter F. Uchtdorf that says: “We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?” Let’s be in the moment and appreciate the rain. To some of us that rain is watering our garden, adding to our well’s water table, and even washing our cars. The phrase “Let It rain!” is also a plea for God to send a spiritual rain onto man’s world. Rains that pave the way for a rebirth, rains that softens the soil so it can be plowed and seeded.
The Book of Jeremiah (5:24) notes, “And do not say in their hearts, “Let us fear the LORD, our God, who gives us rain early and late, in its time, who watches for us over the appointed weeks of harvest.” The prophet was rebuking those of little faith, that God in His good providence he provides the rain for the harvest as well as the appropriate weather for harvest time.
Most of us are familiar with Matthew 5:43-44 where Jesus extends His love commandment to include the enemy and persecutor, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” The next verse (45), “that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” Jesus is instructing His disciples, as children of God, they must imitate the example of their Father, who grants his gifts of sun and rain to both the good and the bad.
In St. Paul’s first speech to Gentiles recorded by Luke in Acts (14:17), rather than showing how Christianity is the logical outgrowth of Judaism, as he does with the Jews, he presents a natural theology arguing for the recognition of God’s existence and presence through His activity in nature. “Men, why are you doing this? We are of the same nature as you, human beings. We proclaim to you good news that you should turn from these idols to the living God, ‘who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them.’ In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways; yet, in bestowing his goodness, he did not leave himself without witness, for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts.”
Let it rain and learn to dance in it. It is part of God’s plan. It fills nourishes our body as well as our soul. The sun is still shinning.