So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9, NRSV)
Ironically, as I write this, I am watching it pour rain outside. But I hearken back to another recent Southwest Florida summer shower. Actually, it was a day-long deluge. I was unable to take my Chocolate Labrador, Max, for much of a walk and he and I were both becoming restless. I decided the best solution was to open the sliding doors onto my lanai to give him room to stretch his legs and breathe some fresh air. It would also give me a little social distance from him, as well.
A significant part of my lanai is covered, so Max would not get wet and I would have the benefit of listening to the rain. About the time I opened the doors and Max sprinted outside, I watched him do something curious. He examined the plants, the furniture, looked at the pool, and then looked up at the rain and began to vigorously bark.
I do not know if the bark was out of frustration, curiosity, anger, or what, but I chuckled to myself as I sat inside watching him bark at the rain as if he could control it. Have you ever “barked at the rain?” What I mean is: Have you ever shaken your fist, or raised your voice, or expressed your frustration at something completely out of your control? I know I have. And I know that this time of self-quarantine and social distancing has given me ample opportunity to do it with increasing regularity. From a postponed sabbatical to twice-postponed vacation plans, to not being able to celebrate my father’s 70th birthday in person with my family, the list goes on and on of moments that have me “barking at the rain” lately.
If you are like me and Max, and have been wasting your time “barking at the rain,” I hope you can join me in remembering the wise words offered to the church in Galatia: “…let us not grow weary in doing what is right…” And, you know, the rain always stops, and Max stopped barking too!
Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor
For fire fighters who must respond, whether it is raining or not:
Loving God, help keep me mindful to bark about things that matter. Amen.