As I mentioned a day or two ago, we skipped fall here in Northern California and went straight from summer to winter. Two days ago it rained, then sleeted and finally just flat-out hailed. First the hail was pea-sized. Noisy, but generally not damaging.
Shortly, however, the sound changed and as I walked to the window I could see marble sized pellets bouncing all over the patio, yard, and sidewalks. The racket was distracting and I began to wonder about body damage to the Buick, which is sitting in K.'s driveway, because his car is in his garage so I have to park outside.
Just about the time I was convincing myself that the Buick could weather (no pun intended) just about anything - those Le Sabre's are built like a tank, which is why so many little old ladies drive them - the sound got worse.
A few minutes later there was a knock at the door and one of K.'s friends came in to report that the hail was golf-ball sized over on his side of town. He had come over to see how we were faring in the storm.
The three of us agreed this storm seemed pretty unusual for the first week in October around here. The next day the newspapers confirmed it was "historic" and had done a lot of property damage all over the area. But we were just fine.
* * * *
Isn't life just like that? Little irritations build up and before you know it it is "raining" pea-sized disagreements and you are wondering how the storm sneaked up on you.
About the time that subsides, the racket in your life suddenly ratchets up a notch, or two, and now it is serious trouble time, and you are doubling-timing it just to stay even. You look back at the pea-sized troubles and think to yourself, "What I wouldn't give to have only those to deal with today." But today has handed you marble-sized difficulties and you are running around trying to do damage control.
About the time the clatter in your inner-ear (where the rotten one whispers encouragement to all your worst fears) has reached mind-numbing levels, a friend contacts you to inform you that it is hailing golf-ball sized troubles over in their yard.
Suddenly you are conflicted: part of you wants to empathize with their situation and offer to help, but you are still cleaning up from the marble-mess in your own yard.
And the other part of you cannot help but be grateful that your troubles were limited to marble-sized and you were spared the golf-ball whacking that your friend is reporting.
Sometimes there is just no place to hide. Life is hard. Scott Peck in one of his books (and I cannot remember which one, but he first wrote The Road Less Traveled and then several more which I read, but they are all a little blurred just now) once wrote about life being hard.
He said that as soon as we give up on the idea that life should be easy, and just accept that life is going to be hard, the sooner we will be more effective in handling life's tough challenges. You may not agree with his view on this, but I have found it to be more true than not.
However, even if Peck were off base, there is a greater authority who said pretty much the same thing; and then he offered even better encouragement.
Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NIV)
Well, thank goodness! Now maybe I can stop fretting over first the peas, then the marbles, and who knows what next?
Hope you can take heart this evening, too. He has already overcome and all we need to do is follow in his footsteps. Until next time ...Marsha