A storm rolled in last week as it often does this time of year in Nebraska. Well, often depends on who you ask. According to my parents, the rain skips over their house and falls in the next county. Such is the life of a farmer.
But back to the rain that did fall.
It fell, hard, right into my backyard. The wind blew, too. It was one of those storms that hits in the middle of the night and wakes even the most peaceful sleep. I know, of course, because my eyes were open just enough to make out the number three on my bedside alarm clock.
In my experience, being awake in the middle of the night tends to mean something bad is happening. If you hear a kid crying at 3 am they’re usually sick or scared. If you hear a loud crash followed by water spilling, chances are high your cat knocked over the flowers and caused an extremely large mess in your kitchen. And if the phone rings, something tragic is happening.
That is one of my biggest fears.
And when rain falls and wind blows at three in the morning, something outside is being damaged. Like flowers or crops or vegetable gardens or brand new trees that you have yet to plant.
I kept myself up for at least an hour worrying about our new trees. We didn’t have a moment to plant them in our yard so they sat on the side of our home vulnerable to wind and rain.
“There’s nothing you can do now, Leslie,” I told myself. “If they’re ruined, they’re ruined. No reason to lose sleep over it.”
My pep talk didn’t work. It never really does when worry is involved. Even though I know I shouldn’t worry. What good does it do? It kept me up, made me anxious and incredibly tired the next day. I knew it would. It’s found me before. Maybe it has found you, too?
By dawn the skies were clear and my trees were down but the damage was minimal. Only a few branches snapped but they looked OK. They bounced back. They survived the harsh Nebraska wind.
And I did, too.
The next night it rained again. But this time when the winds blew, I was calm and sleeping peacefully because our trees were standing strong inside the garage.
There is a lesson here, of course. Certain things in life can be controlled; the speed at which we drive our cars, the food we put into our bodies, the books we choose to read and the unplanted trees we place in the garage for protection from the storms.
But once they’re planted, the control is gone. We can prepare and plan and hope and even worry, but none of that will stop a large wind from knocking down a tree. I know this, you do too. So why do we still worry?
I’m learning and trying to fix the things I can control, have faith in the things I can’t and pray I’ll be able to bounce back at whatever life throws my way.