So I went for a run/walk in the rain just the other day (just to let you know it was August and I’m an Australian living in NZ- that seems like important information for context right now!). The night before, I had decided that I needed to escape the funk of the last week and go out and get some exercise despite the weather.
Its been a mild winter I will confess, but it has been raining a lot lately and that has been a mighty good excuse to skip doing any movement and stay inside (near the heater!). So after the boys went to school I put on my gear and headed out. The clouds were ominous deep grey and looming close by as I headed out my driveway. I got about 700m into my walk when I decided to take it up a notch and go for a bit of a jog. Not long after, the heavens opened…slowly at first, then heavier and heavier until it was literally pouring. All of a sudden, I was surprised to hear a joyous giggle bubbling up from deep within and bursting forth as all the cars drove by. My hands were stiff and sore from the cold, my socks and feet felt wet and the rest of me was quite literally, dripping. And I was having such a good time I had a big smile on my face! It felt almost naughty being out in that weather, like my Mum was somewhere nearby telling me to get inside before I caught a cold! Still, I felt warm, cold, wet and dry all at once, and most of all I was revelling in feeling completely and utterly ALIVE!
It struck me that there was a spiritual lesson here. Sometimes, we get to walk in the sunshine and enjoy easy days where passion drives us forward and everything just seems rosy. Other times though, it feels like we are trying to hide ourselves from the storm. We try to hide out under a blanket, near the warmth of a heater and just watch the weather go past while we try to stay dry and end up feeling miserable. Unaccomplished. Sad.
What if, instead of hiding from the rain, we embraced it as a season- a metaphoric moment in our life that was calling us to push past our limits. What if God was inviting us to dance and to walk and to run into the downpour, laughing and full of joy? The deceiver will always mock us, laugh at us and try to bring us down. Could it just be that sometimes those are the times we are called to stand up and take action anyway? Perhaps its those times where we will learn more about what we are capable of than we ever have before.
It seems to me that having joy in the face of pouring rain is like standing up against the greyness and comfortable and breaking out into a space that might be new and challenging. It might just be full of surprises and joy and innovation too.
When I got home and enjoyed the warm shower (hands stinging!) there was a new skip in my step.
Perhaps its time we all took up running in the rain?