I Love the Rain
We have a screened-in sun porch where I love to sit, especially when it's raining. There's just something about the sound and smell of rain that is soothing, even refreshing. I read an inspiring story recently about a young woman, meningitis and rain. This young woman was 19 when she contracted bacterial meningitis and almost died. Her story is connected to rain in a way that all rain lovers can understand, but it's the story of her life that is truly inspiring.
The girl I'm talking about is Amy Purdy, snow boarding champion, actress, dancer ("Dancing With The Stars"), and double amputee. I'm not a big "Dancing With The Stars" fan, but to watch Amy dance is beyond amazing. In fact, that's how I think of her and her life — Amazing Amy.
Amy was a healthy teenager and when she got sick with what she thought was the flu she went home and went to bed. Within 24 hours of her first symptoms, she was in the hospital on life support and given less than a 2 percent chance of living. Two weeks after her illness began she went into septic shock and her spleen burst.
Amy described her experience this way.
There was a feeling of anxiety. I remember feeling my last heartbeat — and knowing it was my last...
And I saw a light. Not at the end of a tunnel, like people say, but enough of a light that I could see the silhouettes of three people. I don't know who they were. They were just silhouettes motioning to me, saying you can come with us or you can stay.
And I knew then that if I did stay that my life would be completely different.
The Smell of Rain
In that space between life and death, Purdy imagined the simple things that she loved — the smell of rain, the sound of ocean waves, crisp forest air and campfires.
I don't know Amy personally. I know nothing about her faith or even if she is religious. What I do know about her is that she is a fighter. Amy has inspired others who have similar disabilities because of what happened to her and what she accomplished. She is courageous and she is a nature lover who has deep appreciation for the simple beauty of rain.
The "Why" Behind What I Do
Do you sit and listen to the rain?
Do you know and appreciate the value of making time for the quiet, still moments in your life — moments when you stop and reflect and ask yourself the serious questions?
Why do you do all the things you do each day?
Seriously, what is the purpose of your life?
Before you answer, remember, there is a difference in what you think you have to do and what you actually must do. My mother put it this way, "There are only two things in life you really have to do; pay taxes and die."
Most of us are so busy we don't even take the time to stop and think about our purpose, — the "why" behind what we do. We just get up every morning and take off running. We spend our days attending meetings, climbing corporate ladders, pushing ourselves up the social pecking order, and chasing children. Then at night, we fall into bed exhausted, hoping we will get enough rest to get up and do it all over again tomorrow. While there's nothing wrong with being busy, there's something wrong with being busy without a purpose and without rest.
Some people choose making money as a purpose. Others choose to chase fame. Still others have searched their hearts in the still, quiet moments and found an entirely different purpose — something bigger than themselves and something that lasts for eternity. They have found the Someone Who gives them the "why" behind what they do.
Quiet, Still Moments
Today, I encourage you to make time for contemplation, meditation, and prayer. Find quiet, still moments when you can listen to the rain, feel the wind on your face, hear the rustle of the trees, as you are still in the presence of God. Look for a bigger purpose in your life. Strive to live in a way that when you leave this world that you will have made a positive difference. No matter how rich or how poor we are we all have something we can do or give for the greater good of humankind.
Live so that when it comes to the end of your days and your final moments so that if you aren't given a chance to stay a little longer on this earth, you will be ready for what lies beyond.
The Bible reminds us of God's voice calling out to us:
“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world." (Psalm 46:10 NLT)