November 26, 2020

Pastoral Nuggets: Dance ‘Till it Rains

In his book, “Mastering the Seven Decisions that Determine Success,” author Andy Andrews quotes Anne Frank, who said, “Our lives are fashioned by choice. First, we make choices. Then our choices make us.”

He also tells a story about some Aboriginal Rainmakers in Australia.

It seems as though every time communities got into trouble because of drought, they would call the Aboriginals to come and perform their rain dance.

Some tribes were more successful than others. And one particular tribe always made it rain.

When asked why it rained every single time his tribe danced, the king replied, “It’s very simply, actually.  We dance ‘till it rains.”

Wow! How powerful. Stop for a moment and let those two thoughts sink in:

1.  We make choices in life. In turn, our choices, good or bad, make us.

2.  Once we choose and commit to anything in life, we need to stick with it until the very end.  We need to learn to, “Dance ‘till it rains!”

Two things are in short supply in America today:

1.  Good decision-making skills

2.  Commitment – or as I like to say, “Stickability!”

I think one thing that tends to hinder our good decision-making skills as Americans and as Christians is the need that our society has programmed into us for “immediate gratification.”

A good example of this is when we cut an apple in half. We usually do so with the sole intent of satisfying our taste for an apple. We give little or no thought as to where the apple came from or if there will be another apple tomorrow to replace the one we ate today.

Seldom do we pay attention to the seeds inside the apple. And if we even see the seeds, we only see them as a nuisance to be thrown into the garbage.  We do not see that inside that apple is the potential for an orchard! We just want what we want right now!

It has always amazed me that a single tiny little acorn contains the whole DNA code for a fully mature giant oak tree, with the potential to produce enough acorns in its lifetime to grow an entire forest of oak trees. It’s all right there inside the tiny acorn. It just needs the proper circumstances and time to develop.

The decisions we make in life are not too dissimilar.

Every decision has the potential to affect us (and others) far past the immediate gratification of today. They just need the proper circumstances and time to develop. Remember, great things don’t develop in a day – they develop daily!

The truth is, we have made quitting to easy. Yes, we quit our marriages. We quit our jobs. We quit our churches. We quit our friendships. We quit our finances. We quit the gym. (Oops!  I stopped preaching and went to meddling there, didn’t I?)

When things don’t happen the way we think they should, or exactly when we think they should, we quit. We take our ball and bat and go home.  Whatever happened to dancing ‘till it rains?

There are just two thoughts in this column today and I hope you will ponder them:

1.  In life, we make our decisions – then our decisions make us.

2.  When you commit to do something, see it through unto the end – dance ‘till it rains!

Brother Aaron

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