Have you ever asked the powers-that-be, “What if it rains? Is there a contingency plan?” Anytime those questions are uttered, the asker is actually praying fervently, “Please let the answer be NO. Please let it be canceled.”
I know this because I both asked the questions and prayed the prayer this past Friday, and that was the answer I was hoping for. The answer that came back though, said, “Rain or Shine. Back up plan is in place.”
Let me explain. There was to be an Easter Eggstravaganza at St. Francis United Methodist Church on Saturday, April 16. It’s a really big deal; a lot of people do a lot of work. I imagine it’s an awful lot like setting up a traveling carnival but only doing it once a year so you never really get it down to a science. There are decorations, games and activities, and food to prepare. I was only being asked to show up on Saturday and work for a couple of hours.
When I put my name on the volunteer list with the PEN they provided - it was definitely not in pencil as I would have preferred - it sounded like it would be fun, and it was a long way off. My calendar had not exploded by that point in the year.
On Friday, the day before the event, I looked at the weather. It was supposed to rain, 93% chance, but only during the hours of the event. It seemed like a sign. Only 7% away from a guaranteed deluge and only during the hours of the event??? On top of that, I was exhausted from a long week (or month) of work and various obligations. I just wanted a weekend off, and now it was supposed to rain as well?
I woke up on Saturday morning. I had been in the middle of a deep sleep and a great dream, and the sky was overcast. It was the perfect day to stay in bed. And I might have been tempted, but I had conned a good friend into working the event too, so I really had no choice.
When I and my bad attitude arrived, people were already working and laughing and joking. Pretty soon I fell into line and started having fun myself.
At the hour the rain was supposed to start, something different happened. The skies cleared; the clouds parted, and the sun shone on the people attending - which numbered between 350 and 400.
A friend sent an unrelated email recently that said, “You just never know where or when a “God Smack” will come. But it always seems to, and the timing is always perfect. And they carry important messages.” She explained that when you’re not understanding something, God will give you a smack in the back of the head to open your eyes! To help you pay attention.
As I glanced around at the children bouncing along, playing games, eating hot dogs and popcorn and cotton candy, hunting eggs, and their parents talking and laughing with other parents and having their own fun, I realized my friend was right. The timing of one of these attitude adjustments is always perfect.
I had not been feeling the hope and joy of spring or the power of the season. I had been sulking a little because it didn’t FEEL like Easter for some reason this year. As I stood in the sunshine amidst the laughter around me, I suddenly saw the hope and joy and the power of the season. It had been there all along. All around me. Thankfully a well-timed, slight adjustment allowed me to see it again.
Happy Easter Everyone!