The postcard perfect weather of the morning had faded into a violet-gray, overcast sky.  Parents were corralling their kids and demanding that they help carry the family’s beach paraphernalia as they hurried off the sand.  Rain was coming.  At least it looked that way.

We put our damageables in the canvas beach bag, hid it under the umbrella, looked at the sky, and waited. We were staying.

A few breezes later the heavy drizzle fell.  We sat on Tommy Bahama chairs and talked.  As we approached that uncomfortable feeling of being soaked, the rain kicked into a higher gear.  A strong and steady flow of water fell on us from all angles.  Some of us stayed put on the chairs, a few others moved under the beach umbrella for a little protection.  My daughter and I decided to play paddleball.

That uncomfortable moment of being drenched was itself soon drenched by other feelings.  

Peace. A childlike, care-free happiness.  Or maybe it was silliness.  A oneness with nature.  A release from all responsibility.  A reminder that life is governed by a force outside our own. 

As the Psalmist says: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).   We were being put in our place and it felt good!

As human whiteboards with the rain as a dry eraser, the weather was renewing us, if would tolerate it.

We did.

Minutes later, it was over.  The clouds had moved over the ocean, and sunlight again swept the sand.  It was as if the rain had never happened.

Those who fled the shower earlier gradually made their way back to the beach. They probably thought they had dodged a bullet, but I think they missed a blessing instead.

Those of us who stayed through the rain got something beyond a soaking; something deep and satisfying.  We knew it was coming.  That’s why we stayed.

If you don’t yet know the hidden benefits of getting caught in the rain, I hope you’ll soon let it happen to you.  Stay on the beach.  Or take that walk with a friend even when you know water is coming.  Run a few miles more than the weather app says you can squeeze in while dry. 

Be smart, of course, and don’t mess with thunderstorms or dangerous weather. But if it’s just water from the sky, give in to it. Relax, and let it show you a life that’s simple, pure and beautiful.

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