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  • Writer's pictureMike Woods


Updated: Aug 2, 2019

Had an interesting conversation with our 18 year old son. His thoughts were poignant so I asked him to write them down. It goes like this:

Imagine a man is standing in the rain. The rain is a heavy, drenching kind of rain, the type you see in the dead of winter, lacking any warmth nor giving any joy. The man is standing in this rain in a beautiful suit, looking sharp and presentable. At least, he would if he had any covering. You see, the man is standing in the rain completely unprotected. His once fine suit has been soaked in water, his expensive tie is ruined, his luxurious watch waterlogged and no longer functional, his hair, once immaculately styled, plastered flat upon his head, and a look of abject misery is on his face.

If you were to stumble across this man as you were going about your day, you might be stirred to pity. You might stop to give him a word of encouragement, perhaps ask if there is anything you can possibly do to help him. Perhaps, if you are a very generous soul, you might offer him some sort of covering. But no matter what you do or who you are, most people would be moved to at least have sympathy for his plight. Now imagine the man is holding a perfectly functional, large, neatly folded umbrella at his side, completely unused.

Suddenly, your whole opinion of the man changes. You suddenly think of him as, at best, odd. Many would question why he would stand in the rain, ruining all of his beautiful belongings, when he could just as easily pop open his umbrella and remain perfectly dry and happy. It is not like the umbrella is damaged or flawed, nor would it not protect him from the rain. If he put it up, except for a few stray drops, he would remain unaffected by the weather. The question is, why doesn’t he open the umbrella? When you stop and ask the man this question, he replies with a rather bitter and angry tone that the weather forecast was supposed to be sunny and warm and that it is not right that it is raining. It should be dry, he should not be wet, and more importantly, he should be happy.

In this example, everyday occurrences are like rain. Hardly anyone has gone a day without having something come up that could offend them. Someone at work could have ignored them, they could have had a disagreement with their spouse, or someone could have done something as simple as question them. Yet, when the storms of life come, many people refuse to put up their protective umbrella of a good attitude and a forgiving heart. Rather, like the man in the rain, they stand there and get drenched in negativity, then respond angrily that the world should change to meet their expectations. The unfortunate thing is, while they are standing there waiting for the world to change, the rain is ruining the beautiful things they can have in their life, like joy, healthy relationships, and their peace of mind.

-Mike Woods

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