Suddenly Ben became bold. “You know, Mom, God could make it rain in the summer. He can make it rain whenever he wants to. He can make it rain right now. I think we should ask him. Let’s pray,” he said, sticking his hand toward Carol. She took his hand and prayed, “. . . it if would please you and if it wouldn’t mess up any of your other plans, could you please make it rain? We’ll understand if there’s some reason you don’t want it to rain right now, but i8f it would be OK, we’d really like some rain….”
The next day was a normal day. Carol was doing chores around the house and the kids were playing as usual. Then the electricity went out for a while (also as usual). With the air conditioners and fans immobilized, the rest of the house was suddenly very quiet and very hot. Carol lay down on the floor to rest from the heat. In the stillness, she heard a low rumble that sounded like thunder. Ben heard it too. Of course, it wasn’t thunder–it must be a plane. Then they heard it again. It wasn’t a plane a course in miracles . They all went outside, looked up, and there it was . . . a big, black thundering rain cloud, poised right above the house! Next they heard the plink! plink! plink! of raindrops landing on the metal carport.
Realization dawned on Carol. “Ben, God is answering your prayer! Do you feel the drops? It is actually raining!” Ben looked around, rather unsatisfied, and said a course in miracles workbook lessons , “Actually, I was expecting more rain than this …” and he went to get the umbrella. As soon as he did, the rain broke and really started coming down, and Ben got to do all the things he’d been wishing he could do in the rain.
The neighbors emerged from their houses and stood in the rain, looking up and remarking to each other at the spectacle. Children came out of the woodwork and into the streets to play in the cooling rain. But the most amazing part of this story is that it only rained until Ben had done all the things he’d wanted to do in the rain (around 15-20 minutes). “If the power hadn’t quite at just that moments, we probably wouldn’t have heard the thunder and would have missed the whole thing!” Carol says. “And it only rained in our neighborhood (about two city blocks in size),” she adds. “Some friends who live nearby remarked that the ground on our side of the street was wet, and the ground on their side of the street was dry!”
Self image is challenged by the new situation. There is a vicious cycle which starts when people become unsure of themselves, become increasingly prone to making more mistakes and then, as a result continue on a downward spiral of losing confidence. It is a risky time, when nothing seems sure. But it can also be an exhilarating time when new rules, new structures and new organizations can be created. New opportunities have a fighting chance to emerge only after we have become comfortable in the CHAOS. Once we label the feelings of confusion that occurs, and are able to admit and HONOR those feelings, then and only then will we have begun to be masters of the change process. And CHANGE is what our whole life is really all about.
Eventually, when people begin to see new possibilities, a feeling of re-birth starts to set in, somewhat akin to a “honeymoon”. People start to practice new habits. There is a tremendous sense of power as they start learning the way the “new” world works. They start to feel competent and sure of themselves again. Every change, even the very worst, allows them to look at the world differently. Change creates new opportunities that were not available before. It allows for growth and the opportunity to increasingly become more than they were before.
Once we learn the new rules and the unfamiliar becomes the familiar again, in cyclical fashion, we are now back to the status quo. Of course, at this point, we can be certain that a new foreign element will come along and we’ll be back in the cycle again. It’s not the end, it’s midlife and it can truly be the age of miracles when you understand the process.
Not too many years ago, I developed a passion for underwater photography, and knew that this was what I wanted to do.
I did some dive courses, but I was in a situation of always finding a hard time to find a wet suit that fits. Because of being overweight, I was so buoyant that I had to wear almost 40 pounds of extra diving weights just to get my body submerged. But that was not the worst.
I was too shy to show my body in front of my fellow divers. I was always wearing a t-shirt to hide my body. Everybody else was healthy, and fit and tanned, and good looking. I was always on the side. I knew that they were talking about me, behind my back.
No matter that I was swimming countless lengths of an Olympic size pool, diligently for one hour each day, I didn’t lose anything but motivation. I just stayed as fat as I was. I half heartedly attempted a few diets, but I knew that would be impossible to comply with for long.