Several nights back, I was driving home. It had been a long trip–600+ miles in 3 days, with stops along the way to speak at camps during staff training. Encouraging, too, to see these young people enthusiastic about spending 17-hour days in the company of adrenalized kids because of a passion for showing the love of God. A real privilege to be around such folk!
So I’m driving; it’s late. I’m trying to wait til I’m home before I fall asleep. And then, I hit rain. Or, to be more precise, it hits me, slamming into the windshield with enough force to render the wipers useless. One of those bucketfuls of water dumped on you, wish your car had a propeller kind of rains, where even semis slow down, and motorcycles seek refuge under a bridge.
Questions sprouted quickly in this downpour. First: really? Can’t I just have good weather all the way home, especially after a long day (and a series of long days)? Don’t I deserve an easy trip on this final leg? Second: is this more likely to keep me awake than talk radio? Third: do I wait this out or barrel through? Is the storm just here, or will it follow me, or am I driving into where it’s really bad? And how long do these things last (why didn’t I take a meteorology class in college)?
Heavy rains when you’re driving disorient, almost as much as heavy snows (that whiteout during a trip through NY, when I lost the road completely, is still a fairly vivid memory…), and one wonders about the prudent course of action. They’re annoying (unless you’re bundled up inside somewhere, with a good book and cocoa), time-consuming, scary–and common: you can’t drive very far or long without encountering them.
Storms are also wonderful occasions to pray, so I did that night, once I’d ended a phone conversation with a daughter. I skimmed my way home, finally breaking through into clear skies, and arrived without further incident. And a couple days later, when we dropped kayaks into the creek behind our house, I was–then–glad for the rain.