California has been experiencing an extreme drought for a year, but this past week brought several rainstorms. Watching the blessed rain falling I was reminded of this post from 2011. It seems appropriate to share it again:
I was walking one day last week when it began to sprinkle.
Just a handful of drops dotted the pavement, with the first one drying up almost before the others hit. I was sure I had plenty of time to finish my walk without getting wet, so I didn’t bother to increase my pace. As I approached the door I noticed my jacket sleeves were quite damp and, as I went inside, the rain came down in earnest.
The rain was still falling as I picked my way between the puddles to my car at the end of the day.
Driving home, peering through the windshield wipers, I thought about how those first few drops had led to this full-fledged rainstorm. Even though the first drops had little effect and, landing on pavement, didn’t even nourish a thirsty plant, they were absolutely necessary for this storm to exist.
Something…someone…has to be willing to be first. Without a first there can be no second, no hundredth, no millionth.
Most people would be willing to be the first at something if they were guaranteed success. We admire the successful pioneer in almost any field, but we don’t often remember those who came before, attempted the same thing and failed.
Fear of failure is a powerful force, too powerful for many of us to overcome. Fear of being the first and failing can lead to inertia and paralysis. Or at least to a lack of achievement.
The same is true for organizations, such as women’s ministries.
Sometimes, as ministries, we let the fear, not of failure, but of less-than-success, keep us from trying new things. We don’t want to go to the effort of carrying out the new thing God has inspired us to try for fear that it won’t make a significant impact in the ministry.
What if we are the first to reorganize our structure, to have a walkathon, a girls’ night out, a community outreach, or whatever and it makes no tangible difference?
What if we are the first raindrop and we hit the pavement, sizzle and evaporate? The pavement may be cooler for the following raindrops, it may take longer for them to dry up, and, eventually, if God has sent the storm, the deluge will come.
If we are to be available to do God’s will, we must be willing to be the first raindrop.
The concept of the first raindrop is also important in our individual faith walk.
Are you experiencing a spiritual drought? Look to Heaven for the drops of God’s blessing. Respond to the first one like a thirsty weed sending green shoots through a tangle of dried stalks. Allow the drops to build up until a flood of joy and gratitude spills over into every aspect of your life.