I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
My hubby and I had trekked a good two or three miles on a trail in the Rocky Mountains, crossing streams, tackling ankle-twisting rocks and enjoying paths lined with smiley yellow Arnica’s, when we noticed a dark cloud formation off to the West. We had experienced quick moving thunderstorms in the mountains in the past and knew that if we didn’t turn around and head back that instant, we would get drenched.
So, we retraced our steps back through those mountain streams and over the ankle-twisting rocks as fast as we could. But, with every step, it seemed the dark ominous clouds were right on our heels. As we ran out from underneath the canopy of trees, the skies opened up; raindrops the size of quarters and hail the size of nickels pounded down upon us. We skidded and slid our way down the trail’s steep exit and made a mad dash for our car across the parking lot. We dove into our seats, slammed the doors shut behind us and let out a huge sigh of relief as the hail continued to pelt our car.
When we arrived back at our B&B, we waited a while for the rain to lighten, in order to make yet another mad dash for the door. But, there seemed to be no end in sight, so, we braved the weather again and made a beeline for the entrance. As we ran past the front garden, I noticed a figure crouched down in raingear and wellies weeding. It was Kendra, one of the owners of the B&B, but she paid us no mind and kept right on working.
After changing into some nice, dry clothes, I made my way down to the kitchen to make myself a hot cup of tea. That’s when I spotted her a second time, still firmly fixed on her knees, pulling weeds. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Despite the rain, sleet and hail, there she was...still at it. I, instead, went back to the comfort of my cozy room and read as the weather blustered outside the rest of the afternoon.
Later on, I decided to go sit by the roaring fire that was blazing in the big rock-faced fireplace in the living area to do a bit of journaling. It had been quite a while since I had last spied Kendra out weeding, so I thought to myself, “Surely she is inside by now,” as I stopped to look out the window.
I didn't see any sign of her...at first. Then across the driveway I spotted her again. She had worked her way around to the other side of the garden. I marveled at her tenacious endurance to finish the task that she had set out to do, despite the deplorable conditions.
The next morning I asked her to sit down with us at the breakfast table. I told her how impressed I was at her gardening persistence, even when the storm blew in. She chuckled and said, “The garden has to be weeded every week, I can’t let a little thing like rain stop me.” “A little rain!!?? If that's what a little rain is,” I thought to myself, “I’d hate to experience a heavy rain.”
That cold blustery July thunderstorm had ruined our hiking plans for the day...to me it was anything but little. But, to Kendra, it was just a nuisance to push through. Same storm, different perspectives.
Kendra's attitude toward the rain, sleet, and hail reminds me a lot of the apostle Paul. He didn't let a little rain stop him, either. In fact, he pushed through unimaginably difficult circumstances (2nd Corinthians 121:23-28,12:10) and considered each and every trial light and momentary (2nd Corinthians 4:17). And that's what challenges the socks off me.
I don't know about you, but, that's not my usual response. Dark cloud formations and difficulties often stop me in my tracks and send me running for cover...and not just on mountain trails! I tend to prefer life cozy and comfortable. Pushing through miserable circumstances is hard enough, but, seeing them as little, light and momentary? That's another thing alogether.
God, you know me. When storm clouds break overhead, my first response doesn't always look much like Kendall or Paul's. Give me a tenacious heart that pushes through the storms of life with your strength and your perspective, remembering that in light of eternity, they really are just a little rain.
We pray that you will be strengthened with God’s glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need.
If at the very beginning of it all, you had a choice: Easy breezy Parcheesi or the excitement of change and chance. Storms and sunny days. The good, the bad, the choices. The dealing and the undealing. I suspect you would choose as you most likely did at the very beginning. You would choose the adventure of life with all it's trials and tribulations, heartache and sadness, joy and happiness. Because you knew you could roll with it all and didn't want to just glide. And you knew there was a power bigger than you could ever really comprehend keeping an eye on you. Guiding you to make the right choices and helping you through all the storms. And loving you with the happiness and heartbreak.