Last Tuesday morning I hopped on my bike for my early morning bike ride. I leave my house at 5 am so it is pretty dark out. I couldn’t see any clouds and the streets were dry but as I pulled out of my driveway, I could see lightening far to the north of me and also way down to the south. I figured that they were storms that had passed during the night and that I would have no problem on my ride. (I could write a whole other post about paying attention to the warning signs life gives us.)
For the first 10 miles of he ride,everything was perfect and I really enjoyed the cool morning air. Then the streets started getting really wet and it was obvious a lot of rain had recently hit the area. But I pressed on. (Again, future blog post about ignoring the warning signs out of stubbornness). At exactly the half way point in my route, it started sprinkling, the raining, and then torrential downpour. It was coming down so hard that I could hardly see more than 20 feet in front of me. There were rivers of muddy water flowing across the road, sweeping debris everywhere.
I don’t like riding in the rain. In fact, I find it pretty miserable. At that moment I got off my bike, in kind of a bad mood, and thought, “This really sucks. I don’t want to be here. I don’t like being drenched and I really don’t want to ride the next 12 miles back home through this.”
But then the thought came to me, “What else are you going to do? You are in the middle of a storm and it sucks but what are you going to do about it? You can’t just sit here complaining about it as it gets worse and worse. You can’t just give up, throw your bike in a ditch and curl up in a ball on the side of the road. The only way to get through the storm is to get on your bike and ride through it.”
And so I did. I got back on my bike and started pedaling, fully expecting to get a flat tire or be washed away by a flash flood. Now I’m a pretty positive guy so I’d love to tell you that once I got going my attitude changed and I found a new love for riding in the rain…but that’s not what happened. I disliked every minute of that ride up the long hill back to my house.
But you know, even though I was riding pretty slow I eventually rode out the other side of that storm. Just as quickly as it had started, the rain stopped. An when I got to the top of the hill I had a great view of the entire valley. The sky was absolutely beautiful as the sunrise hit the clouds covering the city. And directly below me there was that one dark cloud formation, just sitting there soaking the area I had come from. It was like one renegade cloud had just decided to try and ruin my day. It reminded me of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh who often had that small dark rain cloud following him around.
The point is that on this side of the storm, the morning was beautiful. The colors in the sky were gorgeous, the temperature was perfect, and apart from my soaked clothing, I felt great. Riding through the storm sucked. Having ridden through a storm and made it out the other side was awesome.
Life hands us rainstorms from time to time. Sometimes we are riding along pretty smoothly and then all of a sudden it seems like everything is falling apart. Some rainstorms last a day and some last years, but they often come into our life without warning. When those storms come, you have a decision to make.
What are you going to do?
Will you sit there and complain about how life isn’t fair and this should never have happened to you? Will you do nothing and hope that the storm passes on its own? Will you give up, call it quits, and curl up in a ball in the corner? Or will you get back on your bike and ride through the storm.
One way or another, you have to get back home. You have to get through the storm and get to the good stuff on the other side. And the only option that will get you there is to move forward. The quickest way to get through the storms of life is to turn your face into the wind and rain and move right through them.
One of my favorite authors/speakers is a man named Rory Vaden, who wrote the book Take the Stairs. He shares an example of this when he talks about the difference between the cows and buffalo in northern Colorado. When a rainstorm moves in along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the cows in the pasture will start to run away from the rain. Since they can’t move faster than the storm, running in the same direction causes them to spend the maximum amount of time getting wet.
The buffalo, on the other hand, will turn their face directly into the wind and run into the storm and then out the other side, thereby minimizing the amount of time they have to be in the rain.
If you have to pass through life’s storms anyway, the quickest way to get through it is to point your face into the storm and move through it with determination, so you can come out the other side as soon as possible. If you try to run from your problems, you will only maximize the amount of time you have to deal with them.
Don’t be a cow! Don’t be the person that sits there complaining about how life is always unfair for you. Don’t be scared of the storms that come into your life. You are strong enough to overcome them all.
Recognize the storm, decide where you want to go, and then get back on your bike and ride. I promise that almost all of the good things in life are waiting on the other side of some challenging weather. Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going!”
Remember, in any crisis there are really only two things you can control:
#1 – Your attitude
#2 – Your effort
If you get those two in the right place, everything else will fall into place.
Ride through the storm!
Do you know someone who is going through a “storm” in their life? Share this article with them!