I have never been more aware of the weather and outdoor elements than I am now. This seems counter-intuitive, but when I was a child, I did not pray for sunshine. I didn’t care. I knew that no matter what the weather, the destination and the company were the important factors. Rain or sun were simply added elements of adventure.
At the park, the slide was more fun with a pile of mud greeting me at the end. The rollercoaster was more thrilling with rain pelting my face. And hot chocolate at the zoo tasted better under a pavilion as snowflakes fell. I specifically remember agreeing to go on a cattle round-up at the family ranch during a sleet storm. Perched on our horses and exposed to the worst of the wind, my sister and I laughed gleefully as the wind pelted us with needles of ice. It was so much fun.
In the last decade, I have become incredibly sensitive to weather. During college, the northern Illinois winds kept me from getting a deep breath as icicles froze in my nose on the way to class. I now say no to a trip to the ranch in a 100-degree Idaho summer, because the pickup truck doesn’t have air vents in the back. I hesitate to waterski even in a wetsuit. I don’t even want to go grocery shopping in the rain. What have I become!? Weather never used to make me say “no” to an adventure. The weather used to be illuminating to the “yes” I had already committed to adventure itself. Inclement weather made every-day activities much more exciting.
The current “climate” of our world is just as uncontrollable as physical weather. Spiritual, emotional, and cultural storms rage around us. A pandemic…voices calling out systemic racism…riots and looting…political turmoil…economic fears…the list goes on. Just as we have no input in the physical weather outside, we also have no say in most of the events that surround our lives. Although we can make preparations for inclement weather, we cannot change it once it comes, and often our preparations will not be complete or fully protect us.
Our pride in our preparations must not get in the way of the beauty, healing, and hope that the storms can bring. As believers in God, we have said “yes” to God’s adventure, no matter what comes our way. Stay strong in your “yes” and look for God’s work before, during, and after these storms. Go out in the proverbial rain, catch the snow on your tongue, and stand in a sunbeam with your arms outstretched. God is with you, and God has called you to step out and take action to bring hope to a hurting world, even (and especially!) in the middle of the storm.
Christine Geeding, Director of Christian Education