Pastor Freed has used this quote before in his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, and I think I also wrote something about it then, but it’s a good one to think about – “Life is not waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain.” (Vivian Green)
It’s all about your attitude and what you do when some adversity besets you. We all are just now coming out of the year+ long storm of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many spent that year grumbling under their umbrellas (masks); but many also adapted and learned how to dance in the midst of that storm. What did you do? Did you rail against the storm and complain about having to social distance and wear a mask? Were you defiant when others asked you to put on a mask in public? Did you believe through it all that it was big hoax and that the doctors and scientists didn’t know what they were talking about. Did anyone that you know die from the disease? Ranting in the rain is not the same as dancing in the rain.
The people who were dancing in the rain did not let the challenges of the pandemic bring them down. They found a way to remain happy with just being alive. Perhaps they even gave thanks to God each day that they were given. They embraced the Zoom calls as a new way to stay in touch. The wore their masks as a demonstration of their care and concern for others. Many probably volunteered in their local communities with groups like Meals on Wheels to deliver food and a little human contact to those most vulnerable during the pandemic. They found joy in their service and concern for others.
Now we are coming out of that terrible time, at least those of us who are not resisting getting vaccinated. We can take that time to reflect on how we reacted to this crisis and think about how we might react to others in the future. How did you cope with the last year? Did you learn how to dance in the rain during the pandemic or did you spend it grousing to all who would listen? What good lesson can you take from your experience going forward or what changes do you now see that you need to make in your life to better deal with adversity?
As Vivian Green points out in her quote, dancing in the rain is a learned response. Our instinctive response to any threat is usually fight or flight. Neither addresses coping with the fear or threat. There was certainly no way to fight COVID, until the vaccine was developed, so flight into isolation and behind masks was the only valid response. We then had to learn what dances worked in this rain.
Many tried to ignore the threat and quite a few of them ended up sick with some only realizing their mistake as they were dying. Now the defiant have shifted their focus to resisting getting the vaccine and the rapidly increasing numbers of the unvaccinated sick and dying attest to the folly of that strategy. Cursing and shaking a fist in the rain is not the same as dancing.
Learning to dance in the rain starts by asking a simple question in the face of adversity – How can I make something positive out of this? It may be that the only positive to come out of a setback is to learn from the mistakes that were made, so that they are not repeated. Many times, there actually were some “wins” that came out of what was an overall defeat. Maybe you won a few battles but lost the war. Celebrate and remember the wins as you prepare your next attempt.
The dance of working from home during the pandemic wasn’t an easy one for some to learn, but most who were forced to learn that dance now like it and the time that it affords with family. The Zoom dance was another one that took a while to get used to, but for most it was better than the constant Conference Room meetings and Powerpoint slide decks that they endured at work, before things changed. Once they discovered how to put a beach scene behind them in the Zoom calls it was even a bit of fun.
So far, we have weathered the COVID storm and learned how to dance in its rain. We need to take that lesson and apply it to the other bad things that happen in our lives and learn how to dance through them, too. Maybe imagining that you have on a “I survived the COVID-19 pandemic” T-shirt would help with a new crisis. After all, how bad can it be compared to a year-long battle with COVID-19? Put a smile on your face and ask God to put a song in your heart, then you can dance your way through the rain of that new crisis.
Do you dance in the rain?