It was just starting to drizzle as I got to my car after a meeting of my church group. I wasn’t carrying an umbrella, because it had been sunny and clear when the meeting started – although, to be honest, I rarely carry an umbrella anyway. If it looks like it’s going to rain, I usually just wear a jacket with a hood.

As I got in my car, I could see dark, angry-looking clouds racing across the sky. There’s a nasty storm coming, I thought. I wonder if I’ll be able to get home before it hits. Just then a lightning bolt and a loud clap of thunder answered my question. And the answer was, “No.”

The rain picked up, and I soon had to put the windshield wipers on full speed. I knew from the sound of the rain pelting the roof that it would feel like pins and needles if I were still walking – or, more likely, running – toward my car. I was grateful that the meeting hadn’t gone on another five or ten minutes, or I’d have been caught in the downpour.

About the time it occurred to me that the rain hitting the car was starting to sound more like hail, tiny pellets started bouncing off the road. They didn’t get very big – not like the golf-ball-sized hail you hear about every so often – but they were plentiful. So much so that after a few minutes I could barely see the lane markers on the road – just as I was approaching a “Dangerous Curves Ahead” section of the road.

Just then another thought occurred to me, something I remembered from growing up in the Midwest – that hailstorms often precede or accompany tornadoes. So now I had something else to worry about, although I hoped that being on my way home from a meeting at my church would offer some protection.

I finally made it home, and by the time I pulled into our driveway, it had stopped hailing, and the rain had slowed back down to a drizzle. The worst of the storm had probably lasted only about ten or fifteen minutes, although it seemed to go on for a lot longer as I was driving through it.

That certainly gave me some food for thought. About how quickly storms of all kinds can come up in our lives. And how quickly they can pass – although that’s not to say they always will, or that they won’t do any serious damage along the way. While we’re going through them, it may seem as though they’ll never end. But later, in hindsight, we may find that they actually took up very little of our time.

I guess all we can do is try to prepare for them as best we can. We can watch for warning signs that one may be approaching, but often they catch us off-guard and can’t be avoided. When that happens, we should just keep moving through them, slowly and carefully, until the worst is over.

And it probably wouldn’t hurt to carry an umbrella.

March 29, 2019
©Betty Liedtke, 2019

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