choosing when to walk . . .


I’m growing weary of it. Not of its existence; rain is needful. It cleanses the earth, grows the seed, and cools the summer scorch. No, I’m not knocking the benefits and beauty of the rain. I am, however, a bit disgruntled by its timing.

Let me explain.

I’m an evening walker. I used to walk in the mornings, started my day off fresh with a hearty three or four mile jog in the brilliance of the sun’s light. Somewhere along the way, things changed. Life changed. My jogs turned into walks, my schedule obliterated by the urgent and necessary. My schedule, these days, not so necessary, less urgent than my previous one, yet new habits have taken over where old ones once reigned. And so, I now walk in the evenings. There’s nothing profound or deep buried in this reality. It’s just how it is.

For the last several weeks, the rain has accompanied me on my walks. I may start out dry with blue skies and a smattering of gray-bottomed, cloudy pillows as my companions, but I usually return to the house with a few drops of heavenly dispensation on my clothing. In all my years of living on the East Coast, I’ve never experienced such predictability. And so tonight (with my son’s promised forecast for sunny skies and lower temps), I began my customary stroll around the neighborhood. This time I took my umbrella . . . just in case. Good thing. My “just in case” rolled in about the time my feet rounded the corner on Fordham Drive.

Buckets of rain, absorbing through my cheap umbrella, making sure I knew it meant business. I wasn’t going to escape the wetness. Instead, I was forced to endure it . . . again, all the while praying that anyone in my household might look out the blinds to notice my predicament and run to my rescue. They didn’t. Instead, they stayed dry in the comfort of our home while I willfully pushed through puddles and streams and soggy socks, all the while hating the rain and wondering why it seems to prefer my walking hour rather than the other twenty-three that fill up a day.

I know what you’re thinking. I’m thinking about it too. Why not change the time of your walk, Elaine? Why risk the rain at night, when the morning promises more dryness? Why not the certainty of the day rather than this new predictability of the evening?

Why, indeed?

I don’t have a good answer for you. I won’t even tell you that “into every life a little rain must fall.” You get it. You know about the rainy season—those times when we cannot choose the climate surrounding our hearts and we must press through the rain because there’s no other option. That’s not what I’m talking about here. What I am wondering about are those times when you and I have a choice . . . to walk in the rain or to walk in the sunshine. What about those times in our lives when we stubbornly choose the rain over the sunshine? When we refuse a change of habit and heart and cling tightly to our way over a better way? Why walk with the clouds when the sun is available?

I’ve had a lot of rainy days as of late; I cannot predict all of the clouds that will move in and out of my life, nor the precipitation they’ll bring with them. I can, however, predict a few of them—those evening showers. Accordingly, I can make a choice to avoid them . . . to move my walking to daytime hours. In doing so, I’ll avoid some wetness, some heartache as well.

I don’t always have to get wet. You don’t either. Sometimes we get to choose when we walk. Sometimes we have an option . . .

The sunshine or the rain.

Seems to me a better choice to enjoy the sun while it is shining brightly overhead rather than to be caught in the rain with regret. And therein lies a thought or two worth considering. As always . . .

Peace for the journey,

My friend, Melanie Dorsey, has also written about “choosing” today. Join her in worship by clicking here.

17 Responses to choosing when to walk . . .

  1. Oh wow– you always speak to my heart. My husband and I have been in a lot of rainy days in the past few years but are choosing to walk in the sunshine despite a chance of storms still:)) We are finally feeling the need to let go of the storms and choose to walk in the sun again. Your posts always encourage me to look at life in a cool way!

    • I’ve known some of the “rain” you’ve walked through, friend. Praying God brings along many sunny days into your lives that allows you the opportunity to thrive! I think you’re doing great.

  2. Elaine…

    Your blog post title caught my eye as here in Indiana we are longing for rain. Not the “rainy season” of the heart, but the earth quenching, God breathed, life giving rain…. here we see rain much differently as these days we are walking in a desert. It’s hot. It’s dry. The land is parched. There are times I have walked the desert…. there are times the God has led me into the desert as He did thousands of years ago w/His chosen Israel… I pray for the rain. I pray for the refreshing word of God to pour down like rain (not to steal Mercy Me’s lyrics – grin) onto my parched soul during those days.

    The one thing that is true for all of us… whether the rainy season, or the dry season… we long for those green pastures! We long for the Home we were made for… we travese the seasons this side of heaven knowing that the Lord our God is always with us!

    Praying for you during your rainy season dear friend…. I love you more than words can say….

  3. […] Olsen (Peace for the Journey) writes about a “choosing” here. Share this.TweetFacebookLinkedInTumblrStumbleDiggDelicious This entry was posted in The […]

  4. I’m a real creature of habit so understand about the reluctance to change up your routine 🙂 Hope you enjoy some sunny walking soon.

    Here in the Heartland, we are begging for rain. There are so many dried leaves fallen, walking through the yard is like walking through the fall leaves — crunch, crunch, crunch. We have some chances of rain this week. We sure need it!

  5. Rainy days are my favorite – not walking in the rain kind of days but sitting on a porch, smelling it, hearing it!

    You are so right – how often do we suffer needlessly when we have the choice to change our circumstance – I love the vehicle you use – rain – to make your very real, very powerful point!!!

    So glad I was able to stop by – I’ve been recovering from surgery – and feeling so much better!

  6. I wonder the same thing. Why, when I know the outcome, do I still continue making the same choices, over and over? How can I ever expect anything to be different? We are, indeed, creatures of habit.

    The older I get, the more I stick to the same ol’ routine. I’m afraid I fall under the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Don’t worry, though…my bark is worse than my bite. 😉

  7. good day, sister, you have knocked on the door of my heart; you meddle too much, me thinks! hahahah
    hubby’s first day of retirement was Saturday; God continues to tell me to smile as my last ten years of being-home normal changes into ‘new’…I’m getting wet and looking for that umbrealla 🙂

  8. For the record, it’s 4:00 PM, and I’m heading out for a walk before the sky cracks again. I will get those steps in today, and I’ll smile while doing so. I have a choice, thank you Jesus.

  9. Oh I enjoyed this so as always. Such a good point. We sometimes get that choice don’t we. The sun or the rain? Why would we ever pick the rain, and yet we do. Lots to think about here. Hope you enjoyed your walk today, and stayed dry! HUGS

  10. Elaine, I’m just glad that you’ve continued your walking. I remember when I used to do Fitness Friday. You were jogging in the mornings then. Lots has changed since then, I know. But it is so HOT at 118 degrees and so SUNNY here in Phoenix. I would love for you to send that rain my way, if you don’t mind. 🙂

    Blessings and love,

  11. Good question: Why DO some of us choose the rain over the sunshine, the glass half empty instead of half full? Part of me wants to say it’s the way we were raised, but I’m an example of why that’s not true.

    My mother was always a negative, dour person, while I consciously chose to be the polar opposite of her. I’ve always wanted to ask mother a Dr. Phil question: What’s your payoff? What do you get out of this kind of thinking, but I know I’ll get a defensive answer that will make me sorry I asked. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve realized she’s not going to change, so I’ve released her to God.

    Amazingly, two days ago, she and I had the best visit we’ve had in my entire life! Two hours of mother’s not only being introspective, but wanting to share her thoughts with me. No signs of dementia, just the mother I’ve always wanted. Praise God, and I have.


  12. wifeforthejourney:

    How your writing speaks to me today……beginning with your treatment of the sheltered view of the rain from under our carport. The wit hidden in your line “Buckets of rain, absorbing through my cheap umbrella, making sure I knew it meant business….,” is not wasted on me either.

    These are the ways our days turn out sometimes – uncertain as the weather outside. Depending on when we leave the shelter of our home, I too find myself drenched in cold rain or warmed by the light of the sun. How I long for security and shelter and certainty – me and the rest of humanity. Is there anyone (in their right mind) that revels in insecurity? Singing in the rain is something for the movies, not what I’m looking for today.
    “God, help me to look for and walk in the light; thank you that no matter what the weather is doing I can be assured that I do not walk alone. Amen.”

    Love you elaine!

    ~ Billy

    • Elaine,

      I am glad I stopped by today on your blog. It was a timely read… this one. I know a thing or two about clinging onto the very things that are causing me heartache rather than change and choose a better way. I am challenged.

      Peace and Love,


  13. You’d think you lived in the Pacific NW. We have a saying here: “Check the forecast, then wait 5 minutes cuz it’ll change.”

    Rain & drizzle & fog are our mainstays; sun being the bonus extra sometimes. I never leave home without an umbrella. Then again, I’ve actually grown quite fond of walking umbrella-less in the rain.

    I love the way you connect dots, sweet girl!

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