Dancing In The Rain
“My son and I have not missed a rain or snow storm in at least 4 years. We go outside and play every time it rains or snows” As I listen to this brilliant man speak during a podcast, I am pondering how great that is. Teaching my son to find comfort in discomfort was to become one of the biggest parenting lessons I’ve received.
Josh Waitzkin was an international master chess player at 16. He went on to learning martial arts and became world champion. Upon mastering that, he decided he wanted to train people instead, and has led two of the very limited group of people he trains to two world championships. He then became an accomplished writer when he wrote The Art of Learning. During this podcast, Josh is talking about how he is trying to teach his son that defining a situation as “good” or “bad” is impeding to living life to the fullest. This example is about how there is no such thing as “bad weather”. It’s just weather and it should not affect your path. Rain, snow, etc. is regarded as bad weather by most, and the main goal is to seek shelter. We have umbrellas, rain jackets, ponchos (but we shouldn’t, seriously), cars, run into stores, retreat inside our homes just to avoid the rain. We are constantly creating ways to avoid this “bad” circumstance, which then limits our abilities to find solutions or continue living.
Then it hit me. I was so embarrassed when I realized it. Despite Josh’s brightness and insight, this is not a new idea. He is not a revolutionary because he came up with this. This is basically a summary of the book of Philippians. Paul is continuously talking about finding joy despite our circumstances. The guy is in jail talking about freedom. He’s shipwrecked and almost drowned taking about full life. He’s robbed and beat up talking about blessings. He’s alone talking about how he’s praying for the church. He definitely found comfort in his discomfort.
After embarrassment, conviction set in. How much effort do I spend trying to avoid the rain in my life? Trying to make sure everything runs smoothly. Hoping nothing will go wrong. Praying to the God of the universe that he would keep troubles away from me. Based on the simple fact that I can’t have control of my life if my circumstances shift beyond my comfort. Yet when I actually read His word, all He ever promises is ever shifting circumstances. Then He promises never changing comfort in Him.
Life is a giant rainstorm. It causes us to slip and fall. It makes us wet and gross. It reduces our visibility. It kicks up the dust that was settled. It creates mud puddles that are hard to cross. Stop looking to avoid life. Go out there and enjoy it. Rely on the one person that will not change. Rely on Jesus’s steadfast sacrifice. Rely on God’s eternal grace. Don’t seek shelter. Go dancing in the rain.