So many times in life, we focus on even the tiniest bad things when they are amidst so much greatness.
Like a bit of rain during sunshine.
Last Thursday evening, it started raining as I left dinner and was on my way home. The sun was still out, though, and I normally don’t like the combination of rain without dark skies accompanying it, but for some reason I was really enjoying it. I began thinking about how there have been a lot of times in life where I have let seemingly negative things overshadow all of the good things around me. But, as I drove through the neighborhoods, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the whole picture was. And it wasn’t some huge storm sweeping through that wreaked havoc or had flashes of lightning and clashes of thunder–it was simply fairly weak rain that couldn’t put a damper on that peaceful night sky.
It was such a short, small moment, but it really gave me a perspective I needed at the time.
I usually get tired of hearing trite expressions, but one of them–which is actually a quality quote–popped into my head, and I let it stay there for a while: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” I know a lot of the time when it rains, my first thought is that I don’t want to get my hair wet. Shallow? Yes. But true, nonetheless. There are so many more significant things in life than dry, unfrizzy hair, though.
As I was driving yesterday, I noticed that my car was almost to 100,000 miles. I guess I thought that was sort of a big deal, and I wanted to see it turn that number just for the sake of seeing it happen. But I got caught up in my own car concert as I was belting out some T-Swizzle, and I completely missed it. When I looked down to see it was already in the six-figure range, I was briefly disappointed. Then, I thought to myself, “Who the crap cares?” I mean, why should it matter if I see that number? I don’t even like numbers in increments of five. I had wasted a few seconds of my life getting upset about an unimportant event that has no lasting value in my life. You know what was more important? Singing “All Too Well” as if I were performing for the attendees at the Grammys.
Life brings with it a lot of things that are really difficult to handle. There are some things that seem so much bigger than we are, and they are, which makes it even more challenging to try to find the sunshine in the middle of all of the rain. It’s not always easy to be dealt an unwanted hand–whether it’s illness, losing someone you love, having your heart broken, or any other number of events in life that leave us questioning why we are standing under such huge clouds of storms that just won’t let up. They seem so huge and daunting that it makes it hard to think we will ever make it through with any ounce of hope.
But, there is Someone who is bigger than all of it, and He can take away pain when it seems like it won’t go away.
When I was a sophomore at Texas A&M, I was supposed to go to a concert with a guy, and he bailed on me the day of the show. I was definitely not happy about that–I had really been looking forward to the concert, which was on a school night in Dallas. Thankfully, my brother said he would go with me after I called and practically begged him. But I spent way too much of the three-hour car ride thinking about how upset I was over some guy who didn’t even care. I ended up having a great time with my brother, and I should have been more thankful of the quality memory I was getting to have with my childhood hero. He had cared enough to sacrifice whatever he would have been doing that night and gone with his younger sister to see a band he had never even heard of play live.
He was my sunshine that drowned out the rain.
As I made the trek back to College Station and got home a little before 3 a.m. so I could make it to my 8 a.m. class that morning, I have to admit that I hadn’t forgotten about being upset. Looking back now, it was so silly. I was making something out to be more important than it really was. In the big picture, the fact that one guy didn’t go to a concert with me really wasn’t such a bad thing after all. I got to hang out and catch up with my brother, and I felt so honored that he was there for me.
I know my life isn’t going to be perfect, and I am certainly going to have more storms come my way. But I don’t want to stress out about what troubles may come because of some rain or lightning or thunder; rather, I want to face those adversities head on and, as Taylor Swift wisely says, “dance in a storm in my best dress, fearless.”
Because even when I am dancing by myself I know I will never be dancing alone.