There is something very soothing about the rain. It cleanses, it restores, it refreshes, it renews, and it cools down a very hot summer. I’ve been spending my July in Florida, and every single afternoon or evening for a good hour or two it downpours. The whole rainy season in Florida has fascinated me because every morning starts out hot and muggy, and by the time the stars come out it has dropped nearly twenty degrees and it is breezy after the rainstorms have come through.
The wonderful world of Disney is also impacted by the frequent storms and it has been very interesting watching how people respond to it. The truth is, if you let it, the rain could ruin your day. I think of the thousands of dollars people have spent on “the perfect Disney vacation.” They find themselves standing in line for an E ticket attraction, let’s say for example, Dwarves Mine Train, somewhat recently constructed in the New Fantasyland expansion which opened in Magic Kingdom in 2012. Sometimes the wait lines can exceed 120 minutes in peak season (which is now). Anyways, watching these people who have saved up an excessive amount of money, and seeing them stand in line for an hour or so, only to hear announced by an almost too perky cast member that “due to inclement weather, the dwarves have returned to the mine,” AKA, there will be no ride after all, creates responses that are always intense and sometimes explosive. Crying babies. Screaming kids. Complaining teens. Grumbling parents. Everyone blaming the helpless cast members. Welcome to Disney World in July.
You see, rain and storms can cause unexpected chaos in our lives. These Disney goers expected a magical time, even paid for one, and are rewarded with soggy shoes and socks and blisters on their soaked feet, with grumpy kids, and fighting parents . . . all because of the rain.
You see, it’s very easy to look at the bad in our lives. Yeah, things aren’t going to go our way, and yeah, there are going to be things that happen that are outside of our control, but what if we look at those circumstances in a different light? What if instead, we take the possibility of looking for the rainbow beyond the storm, the refreshing coolness of an unexpected storm, the cleansing reality of the drops of water? We can’t always see the outcome of the other side of the storm, but we ABSOUTELY have control of how we respond to it.
I guess what I’m saying is instead of seeing the griping and complaining of ruined vacations, I’d love to see a father and son laughing and running through the rain hand in hand, or a couple dancing through the soggy streets. Yeah, unexpected terrible things will happen, but it doesn’t give you the liberty of acting just as terrible or unexpected! You’re only adding to the chaos!
I think of Jesus during the storm. The disciples were freaking out, and he was peacefully sleeping because he knew that freaking out wouldn’t help anybody, and causing chaos and stomping his feet and screaming how their fishing trip was ruined wouldn’t aid anyone’s nerves. No. Jesus slept. I think it’s one of the most beautiful moments in scripture. Because in Christ’s peace we see a reflection of such trust in God’s love.
When we are safely in God’s arms, the storms can come and destroy all they want. Because at the end of the tempest, and through it all, it cannot dictate how you will respond to it. That choice is ALWAYS protected for you. You still have control to make things better based on your perspective. Use it! It’s more powerful than you know.
So next time a storm comes in your life, smile wide at it, put the umbrella away, and sleep away. Or maybe even, just dance.
Let it rain.
Devin Anavitarte is one of the founders of Enspire Productions. He is currently the chaplain at Burton Adventist Academy.