It was a downpour, a steady rain falling with no sign of letting up.
My friend and I were picking strawberries at a local patch. The day had begun with cumulus clouds, but we decided to take our kids and go for it. It ended up that the kids sat in the truck while she and I did the picking as fast as we could, our hair and our clothes soaked. As the rain came down, I squinted towards the truck, trying to see if the kids were being good. Little faces peered back, bouncing around, they seemed happier than I was.
I started to get a salty attitude about the whole thing–a day which was supposed to involve the kids helping, maybe a little sunshine, and a little less discomfort. Grumbling under my breath, I found myself tempted to curse over the day.
That’s when a fat strawberry hit me in the side of the head.
“Lighten up, Lindsey Lou.” My friend, Anne, was smiling, standing there drenched. She had just pegged me in the head with a fruit. Hard to take anything serious after that.
There is something precious in the face of discomfort. It shouts life, it reminds me that I am alive. Feeling the rain on my skin, the chilly breeze in the air, the smell of dirt and ground. Something about discomfort makes me acutely aware of my life.
Once I got over myself and the fact that the day wasn’t going to be sunny and so-called perfect, I felt myself relax. I smiled, lifting my face towards the falling sky. Giggling, suddenly it seemed like I was a kid goofing off with a good friend, and well … I was.
How often I resist discomfort in life, I suppose we all do. I have an idea of how things should go and picking strawberries in June rain wasn’t what I thought I would enjoy. Turns out I was wrong.
The day ended up being perfect. If we so choose, even during times of discomfort, every day is perfect. A gift to be enjoyed.
“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
How do you respond to discomfort in life? Do you agree that discomfort and challenges bring us growth and character?