Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dancing in the Rain

 "The pharmacist just insulted me," a woman sobbed to her irate husband. He snatched the phone from her hand.

“I’m sorry to upset her,” the pharmacist said, “but put yourself in my shoes. First, my alarm didn't go off and I overslept. I rushed out and locked both my house and car keys inside and had to break a window to get them. On the way to the pharmacy I got a speeding ticket. When I finally arrived late, there was a long line and the phone was ringing. I bent over to pick up a roll of nickels, I cracked my head on a drawer and fell backward, shattering the perfume case. Meanwhile, the phone was still ringing. I picked up and your wife asked me how to use a rectal thermometer. I swear, all I did was tell her.”

Have you ever had a day like that? One man likes to say, “My life is filled with mountaintop experiences. One day, I'm on top of the mountain. The next day the mountain is on top of me.” Those kinds of mountaintop experiences are hard to take.

There will always be times when the mountain is on top. Or, in the words of Charles Tindley, times “when the storms of life are raging.” When that is the case, what do you do? One wise sage gives us a clue:

“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.”

I have spent too much time just waiting for one kind of storm or another to pass. “When things change…” “When everything settles down…” “When it gets easier…” “When…” Well, you get the idea.

A few years ago, someone stole my wife’s purse. That was a storm we didn’t see coming. For days she was hassled with replacing lost credit cards and identification. And though it wasn’t a crisis, it was still an aggravation.

As she went about the process of trying to protect her identity from theft and replacing the contents of her purse, I recalled the words of author Matthew Henry, an 18th Century English clergyman. Henry, too, was robbed. Yet he approached his problem differently than I. Unbelievably, his predominant feeling was not anger, but gratitude. What he said was, “I give thanks that I have never been robbed before; that although he took my wallet, he did not take my life; that although he took everything, it was not much; and finally, that it was I who was robbed and not I who robbed.”

No self pity there. He was robbed and came away feeling gratitude for his life. Here was a man who learned something I had not yet figured out – to dance in the rain.

I’ve found that, over the years, there is plenty of rain, and much of my life has been about waiting for the storms of life to pass. So next time it rains, I’m going to dance. 

-- Steve Goodier

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rod trynor said...

Sort of like the country song. Sometimes your the windshield. Sometimes your the bug.

Unknown said...

On "Dancing inthe Rain", I like the wisdom og dancing in the rain instead of waiting for the storm to be over. It reminds me of knds being carefree and literally singing and dancing in the rain. Theu run outside and when it gets to wet, run inside the garage and then go back out screaming and dancing in the rain. when my purse got stolen 3 years ago, I bought myself an expensive purse I had been wanting. Why should the thief have a better purse than me? I think I was practicing this dancing in the rain belief!