25 Jul 2009
This is the time of the year when rain is a frequent visitor, especially in the afternoon. It is then that a person is tempted to go outside and dance in the rain. One famous singer was so caught up with a rainy afternoon that he did his famous, "Singing in the rain." At my age, the only dancing I do is the bathroom shuffle, which has become more frequent than usual lately.
The early Native Americans used to do their "Rain Dance," in the hopes that some rain would come their way and water their crops. It is hard to tell what their average of success was in that practice. Obviously, it was not so successful that it has carried on down today. It may very well be that their "Rain Dance," was simply some contrived activity to break the monotony while waiting for the white man to steal their land.
Rain is a funny thing. Well, not so much a funny thing as something that confounds the average common sense, which is not that hard to do. From the advantage of many years of observation, rain will come when rain comes, and just when you think you have enough rain, it rains some more. In addition, when you desperately need rain those clouds are deliberately looking the other way.
When it is raining a friend of mine always says, "I guess we needed the rain." To me this does not make sense. Because it rains when we need the rain and then it rains when we have had enough rain. Or at least when I have had enough rain. My definition of enough rain is, when I have an afternoon outing planned.
I have yet to hear my friend say when the sun is shining and not a cloud in the sky, "I guess we don't need rain today." The truth of the matter is, we may need rain that day. I have come not to pay much attention to what my friend says. In fact, I think I'm going to get a new friend.
Rain is a very important part of our social makeup. Without rain, much of what we do would simply dry up and blow away. Not only do we need rain for horticultural reasons, but for sociological reasons as well.
For example, we use rain to identify somebody who is not very smart, or at least not as smart as we think we are. We say of such a person, "He doesn't know enough to get in out of the rain."
What we do not know is, perhaps that person has a good reason to be out in the rain. He may, in fact, know that he is out in the rain and has chosen to stay out for reasons known only to him. Perhaps, he is just so delighted with the summer rain he just felt like dancing in the rain. Are we really going to fault a person for indulging in such activity?
I am beginning to think that rain really gets a bad rap all the way around.
Another example comes to mind. Some people will say, "I am saving up for a rainy day." All I want to know is what a rainy day has to do with saving money. Nobody ever says, "I'm saving up for a snowy day." Nor, does anybody ever say, "I'm saving up for a sunny day." The latter would make more sense to me. There are plenty of sunny days that I could use plenty of money.
All I say, if you want to save money, save money and let the rain out of it. The rain has enough to do without being burdened down with helping you save money. Anyway, the only thing the rain can give you is a rain check.
Perhaps the worst of all is the phrase, "Don't rain on my Parade." I have never really understood this. No person who has ever said this to me was involved in a parade at the time.
Take last week for example. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage was telling me about some plans she was putting together and I simply indicated that I did not think it was a good idea. I know when to keep my mouth shut, I just do not always do it.
With both hands on her hips, looking at me with one of "those looks," she said to me in a familiar tone, "Don't you dare rain on my Parade."
At the time, I had no idea what parade she was talking about. If she was planning a parade, I wanted to be in on it. I love a parade. Furthermore, where did she get the idea that I could snap my finger and cause it to rain? I'm good, but not that good. Of course, who am I to argue with her?
The only thing I know for sure about rain is that God is in charge of it and he dispenses it at his good pleasure. Jesus said, "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:45 KJV).
I certainly cannot control the rain but I can thank God for his wisdom in sending the rain when he chooses.
Rev. James L. Snyder