If you live in Florida or watch the news, you know that we had a visitor recently: Tropical Storm Eta, who was briefly a hurricane.
Since you never know what a storm like that may do, Dave buttoned down all our hatches to make sure nothing got blown about.
Fortunately, as he said, Eta was just “a puff” for us, so the aftermath was merely some droopy Mexican Petunias and the new ruts that appear in the dirt roads around our neighborhood after a heavy rain.
But thinking about Eta reminded me of my all-time favorite run: during a tropical storm that swept through Pinellas County when we lived in Dunedin.
Yes, during the storm, since I used to love running in the rain when there was no thunder and lightening included.
That was the case that day, when I slipped my feet into a pair of flipflops—since I knew my running shoes would quickly get heavy when soaked—and headed down the Pinellas Trail in a downpour.
It wasn’t long before even my flipflops were getting in my way and I tugged them off to enjoy the glorious slap of my feet into the fresh, cool puddles that were growing in my path as thick drops pounded my ballcap and dripped from its rim.
Now, a few things to note as I describe all that:
- Dave was probably still shaking his head as I headed out the door;
- I likely didn’t share my plans with my little overprotective mom who lived with us then; and
- I know it’s not safe to run through puddles in your bare feet.
Regardless, it was one of the best exercise experiences I’ve had in my life and I’m grateful I got to do it.
Dancing in the rain
Thinking about all that reminded me of a saying you may be familiar with: “Life isn’t about avoiding the storms. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
There are various iterations of that floating around on t-shirts and mugs, but I love the sentiment that we shouldn’t wait for things to be the way we want them to be in order to savor each moment God gives us in this world.
As Christians, our hope is based not whether the outlook is bright or things are going our way—but on the grace, mercy, and promise of eternal life in Heaven that God has provided for us through Jesus.
That’s why we can rejoice in the midst of the chaos of this world and the cultural and political dynamics in our country that aim to cut God out of the equation.
Jesus talked a lot about the hardships His followers would face.
That was true then, and it’s true now.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t dance in the rain and rejoice over the fact that our God reigns, and ultimately, He will be victorious.
Since my body doesn’t put up with me running in the rain anymore, I’ve adjusted my exercise routine to adapt—like boxing and dancing to worship music on the back porch.
Recently, I realized that anyone driving by on the road can see me through the screen. So, I decided to take my movement of worship onto the outside deck, where I can savor the wide open skies and wave to the neighbors going by who likely wonder what in the world that crazy lady is doing.
If they only knew that in addition to embracing the freedom to let go and rejoice, I also sit in my bathrobe and talk about Jesus with anyone who’s willing to put up with my unkempt appearance to join me on the red couch for Bibles & Bathrobes™.
If you want to join me for a few minutes of who-cares-what-anyone-thinks-I’m-dancing-and-embracing-joy, click on the link to the video below and let’s dance!
As an FYI, the song I mention in the video is “Rise Up (Lazarus)” by Cain. Check it out, it’s powerful!
Feature photo by Fiona Bowden on Unsplash.