Thunderstorms

A couple of days ago we had a thunderstorm roll through our town. It wasn’t particularly impressive as thunderstorms go in terms of lightning and thunder. But, boy did it rain! In about an hour it dumped perhaps three inches of rain – my old wheel barrow has four inches of new water. That got me to thinking about the how rain storms work and how they are sometimes a simile for the human experience.

Did you know that if it rains one inch of water on our small plot of land (about 100 ft by 100 ft), a total volume of water on the order of 833 cubic ft is deposited. Each cubic foot of water weighs about 62.3 pounds which gives almost fifty two thousand pounds of water on our lawn, that is,in one hour this rain storm dropped three times that weight of water on our lawn — a grand total of almost 78 tons of water. Of course the rain clouds extended over a vastly larger  land area than our small homestead, so many thousands of tons of water were deposited from those clouds.

Now, all of that water was suspended in those clouds in a huge multitude of tiny droplets. Each drop on its own wasn’t much to write home about, but once fallen to ground from the cloud and merged with the millions of other drops on our lawn they formed a large pond several inches deep (of course our land is the lowest elevation in our neighborhood so we got all the water running off of the neighbor’s lawns as well!). Under no imaginable circumstance could that entire pond be expected to exist in the clouds, yet from thence it came and here it is!

During the rain storm, each of those drops by themselves were not much more than a nuisance to be easily brushed away. But now, joined with millions of their own kind, they are a huge force with which to contend.

As I reflect on this year’s totally unexpected turn of events in our country’s political season, I see that each individual person (the rain drop) has little influence on their own. But, when they all for some reason vote in concert, they become a force with which to contend. The danger comes in the channeling of that force. Why is the large group of individual people following the path they’re on? What outside influences are forming their opinions? Who is directing the thinking of those people?

We used to be able to depend on the religious and philosophical grounding of people to prepare them for self governance. In our country today, how many people attend any religious institution on a regular basis? How many have any training in the classic moral traditions of our ancestors? How many choose to spare time to hammer out their own philosophical framework for life? How many spend any time at all entertaining thoughts about the serious questions? You know, “Why am I here”, “What is my purpose”, “How should I live?”, “What is really important?”, “For what should I be willing to die?”, and on and on ……

And so I fear the choices being made by the masses because the course they appear to be following is one I cannot agree with and will not follow! Yet, what hope does one little rain drop have to oppose the path of the flood?

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