I’m trying to keep my eyes on the computer screen as I write this column; however, the view outside keeps tugging me away. The clear morning sky has faded into an afternoon of dismal gray clouds that are beginning to shower some needed rain onto our parched landscape. After what seemed like a never-ending drought, we’ve finally had a few days of relief. Not enough water to fill the creeks, but sufficient enough to encourage the grass and shrubs to hang onto life a bit longer. The rumble of thunder just chased my husband and his lawnmower indoors. We had the afternoon scheduled with several outdoor projects that were long overdue, but now we’ll have to set all those plans aside. A few days ago we had a similar experience. We began the day with a long to-do list of outdoor projects, focused on rolling up our sleeves and taking care of business. That was, until the rain began to fall. Not just a soft summer sprinkle, but the kind of downpour that sends you scrambling indoors for a towel. My first response, I must admit, was one of frustration, “Oh, no. There goes our day. We had everything ready to go and now all we can do is watch it pour.” Waiting is not my forte, so I wasn’t a happy camper as I envisioned my plans for the day being washed away. My attitude was growing as dark as the sky outside. My husband, on the other hand, quickly tapped into his spirit of determination and flexibility as he moved his tools out of the rain. “OK, so maybe we can’t do all we wanted to do. We’ll just do whatever we can, even in the rain. Besides, we won’t have to water the lawn.” Watching the showers today and reflecting back on last week’s lesson in adaptability reminds me of a quote similar to one attributed to Roger Miller: “Some people dance in the rain, while others just get wet.” I’m afraid last week I was standing still and getting wet while my husband was dancing. I came across that quote just the day before we had the rainstorm. Isn’t that just like God? Weaving together experiences to teach us how he wants us to embrace life. Even our Bible study focus in James emphasized the truth God was bringing to my mind and beckoning me to apply as I deal with the rainy days in my life. We can begin the day with the best plans and positive attitudes, desiring to accomplish all we can. Sometimes the sunshine brightens the day and things flow easily. Then there are other times when the sky darkens, the thunder rolls and the rain pours down, leaving us with a choice. What attitude will we embrace when the trials come? How will we respond to the challenges of life? It’s easy to dance when the sky is blue and the birds are singing, or when the moon and stars glisten in the clear night sky, but, what about those rainy days? Can we make those times count in our lives as well? Or do we let our disappointments and frustrations rob us of joy and leave us wet. Perhaps we can take our cue from the writings of James in the Bible. In the first chapter of his letter he says, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way. If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help” (taken from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson). It’s raining in many of our lives right now and we really don’t know when it will stop. Perhaps there’s some truth to another familiar quote that says, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” So, my friends, let’s ask God to teach us how to dance – even in the rain. Nancy Williams, M.Ed., LPC is a licensed professional counselor, speaker and writer in Kingwood. Send comments or questions to her at www.nancywilliams.net.

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