It rains here practically every day.
I’ve learned that people in the Deep South handle rain differently than Oklahomans. When it sprinkles in Oklahoma, all the girls take the opportunity to bust out rain boots, rain coats, and umbrellas. When it pours in New Orleans, students seem to walk across campus as if it’s merely cloudy. Needless to say, I often look ridiculous walking across campus. I’ve never seen anyone using an umbrella, but I don’t leave my dorm without mine! AND if it’s ever pouring when I leave my room (or even sprinkling), I’ll likely put on my rain boots and certainly my rain coat. (Maybe I’ll become a trendsetter?)
Clothing is not the only thing impacted by this rain difference. In church Sunday, the pastor asked, “Who here has ever had to pray for rain?” Forgetting my location, I raised my hand and continued looking at my notes. When I finally looked up, I realized that I was the only one in sight raising my hand. Although the people around me were laughing with me, I totally understood the pastor’s illustration better than them. 😉
I’m clearly not used to living in a wet climate.
Yet, I am also not used to living in a dry climate. Figuratively, that is. I’m used to laughter, silly teenage girls (that I love dearly), crazy phone calls, having to wake up early and go to bed late, juggling too many activities, and having to count calories. Here, it’s almost always quiet, I rarely see a teenager (who would’ve thought I’d have withdrawals?), the calls I receive are mild and always civil, I get plenty of sleep, I don’t even have to check my calendar when someone asks me to do something, and I have to remind myself to eat.
There are certainly pros and cons to both sides of my life and I’ve had to remind myself to be thankful in Oklahoma and in New Orleans. Yet, while I’m in this dry season, I’m reminded of what ministry education looked like in the Bible. Yes, there was formal training (you can’t argue Paul didn’t go through formal training), but there was also a lot of desert training. Jesus, Ezekiel, and Moses are just a few examples of leaders that were trained in the desert. Their ministries were not built with ease. Instead, their ministries were built with temptation and hardship. Although I would never compare the intensity of my calling, suffering, or temptation with that of Jesus, Ezekiel, or Moses, I’m grateful the Lord has provided formal and desert training for wherever He’s leading me.
So, in true Okie fashion, I find myself back to praying for rain. Now, I just have to remind myself to wait expectantly (rain boots and all) and see the blessings along the way…even when it’s just sprinkling.