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Passing Through Life’s Storms

Riding in Life's StormsLast 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.” Lifes Storms 3

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?

Lifes Storms 1Will 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!

Kris

Do you know someone who is going through a “storm” in their life? Share this article with them!

25 comments

  1. Thank you so much for this post, Kris! It was exactly what I needed at this point in my life! Keep it up!

  2. Great post!! I needed that today! I made myself a plaque that has my favorite quotes that I see every day when I wake up:
    Worrying does not empty tomorrow of it’s troubles, it empties today of it’s strengths.. Do what you can, where you are, with what you have… At any given moment you have the power to say “This is NOT how the story is going to end!” 
    Have a good day!

    • That is awesome Lori! I am in the process of making something like that to put by the front door so my kids can see it every day when they leave for school. Thanks for the great comment!

  3. A good and inspiring article – good for the soul. Thank you.

  4. Love it Kris. An awesome post. Thanks!

  5. Thank you it seems that God works in strange ways. I asked for help today from the big Guys upstairs…… and they do not disappoint! I loved what you had to say and it was right on time. When we help each other we are also helping ourselves!!! Thanks again!!! Debbie

    • That is so true! It’s amazing how sometimes They give us the trial and wait for us to ask for help and then put something in our path that really helps. Whatever your challenge is, you WILL get through it!

  6. Great story. I don’t want to be a cow either!

  7. Lately my life’s storms have given me a whoopin’! It seems like every direction I turn there is no help, just more challenge. I’ve been pretty stressed about it lately. It’s amazing to me how God gives little inspirations like this just when you need them. I’m sorry to say that I haven’t been to your page for a few months. But today, when I’m feeling down and out and hope is fading, here is your message on my Facebook feed. Just what I needed! Thank you!

    • Steve,
      I’ve been there myself a time or two and the stress definitely builds and builds until you start to lose hope. Just remember that no matter what happens, you are in control of your attitude and your effort. Nothing can change those. So keep them positive and don’t give up and I promise things will start to fall into place for you. If you’d like to talk more about it, please e-mail me at krisheap@successify.net. Thanks for checking in!

  8. Great story as usual. Thanks Kris!

  9. What a wonderful posting. This is just perfect timing for me as I’m going through a big storm. I wondered why it was taking me so long to get through this one. I’ve been like the cows! Well, today the transformation begins. Facing this one and coming out the other side. Thanks!!!!

  10. Thanks a lot for this posting. Storms come often to my life, this helps me to face them and make them shorter. 🙂

  11. Thanks! I have a white board in my office where I write the things I need to get done that day (if possible). At the top I always start with a motivational quote for the day – tomorrow/s will be “Ride into the storm.” Good advice for my workplace.

  12. I read Successify all the time but i’ve never left a comment – as cliche as it is to say that this article “spoke to me” or “came at a time when i needed it most,’ truly it did, and it did. Thank you for the simple but far reaching kindness in your posts. It was my birthday yesterday and i dont know what it is about birthdays/holidays but they either suck you into a train of thought that will lift your spirits or suck you down into a pensive spiral of regret. I found myself with the latter and waking up to this at work was perhaps just what i needed 🙂

    • Renee,
      Thank you so much for the comment. And I am so glad that you enjoyed the post. My birthday was last Saturday so we are pretty close! I get that same feeling around every birthday. Since we are all moving through life, we might as well choose to move forward! Hope your birthday was wonderful! – Kris

  13. Thanks kris !
    This post has a big help for me
    To face difficulties in life

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