Caught In the Rain
On our recent vacation, my husband and I rented a scooter as our mode of transportation. We’re always up for a good adventure so our little two-wheeler was loads of fun until one evening as we were finishing dinner we looked up to see driving rain pelting the windows of the restaurant. We were miles from our hotel and only a puny little scooter to get us there.
Why did the rain come when it did? Couldn’t it have waited just 30 minutes more for us to be safe and sound?
We were frustrated, inconvenienced and irritated.
But there was nothing we could do. The rain was here and it was falling hard.
The rain falls in our life and leadership too. It’s often unexpected. Sometimes it moves in quickly. Other times we see it rolling in but we’re powerless to stop it. Sometimes we’re not paying attention to the rain clouds looming and we’re startled when they catch us off guard.
Maybe it’s the initiative that failed. Maybe it’s an unexpected illness. Maybe it’s a financial crisis. Maybe it’s a tough relational issue. Maybe it’s a problem that you just can’t solve.
The rain comes from time to time and although my immediate reaction is always frustration and discomfort, I’m learning what to value from it.
1) The rain forces us to slow down. Although we were finished with our dinner and ready to hop back on the scooter, we had to slow down and rethink our options. The rain broke the stride of our hurried pace (even on vacation!).
2) The rain challenged us to find new solutions. When it was obvious the rain wasn’t going to completely let up, we remembered the emergency ponchos under the seat. We had to alter our plans but we found a new way to get back on the road.
3) The rain created community. Not only did we slow down and talk to each other, but the monsoon sparked conversation with other people who were huddled under the restaurant awning trying to find shelter. Where everyone would normally keep to themselves, they found support and camaraderie with strangers.
Have you been caught in the rain lately? What could you learn from slowing down? Could it help you identify a new solution? Is there some community that you need to embrace to endure it together?
My natural reaction is to run from the rain – to seek shelter immediately. But sometimes I think we need to be willing to get caught in the rain.
Embrace the challenge and see what it might be trying to teach you.