It’s spring and when I walk I often see rain puddles everywhere. Now I avoid them, but when I was a kid I loved jumping in them. Have you jumped in a rain puddle lately? Have you ever noticed them? Do you think there are rain puddles in heaven?
So often we get caught up in our own concerns; we get caught in the trap of our busy lives, in the tangled web of our own routines, and in the worries and the concerns we face. I don’t know if there are rain puddles in Heaven or not, but I know for sure there are rain puddles right here on Earth.
I can’t remember the last time I even looked at rain puddles — those dancing street-side pools full of reflections, so utterly quiescent on a gentle late-spring evening. When I was a kid I used to jump in them and ride my bike through them. But now I cannot remember the last time I wanted to jump in one.
How sadly grown-up I’ve become. Now I avoid those rain puddles as much as I can. But when we are children we can’t resist splashing in those rain puddles that spring up after a brief but furious summer thunderstorm. Rain puddles shimmering, the air fresh with the scent of rain, the storm has past and it’s rumbling its way to another town, leaving behind rain puddles, just right for jumping into.
How many rain puddles have you jumped in lately? You probably avoid them just like I do. How many times have you awakened in the morning and watched as the sun rose on a brand new day – and really appreciated the wonder and the beauty of it? How many times have you taken the time to make the life of someone you know a little better? How many times have you given up something in order to make someone else a little bit happier, or their lives a little better, or shared their sorrow and made it a little easier to endure? How many times have you held back a rush of hurtful, harsh words when someone has lashed out at you with a vicious tirade or an insulting or hurtful remark? Words are powerful things; words can hurt and words can heal. How many times have you stopped to consider the effect your words will have on others?
Too often we look at life as an entitlement, rather than the gift it is. We’re so burdened with our own quest for happiness that we sometimes forget that the greatest happiness of all comes from making someone else happy, or someone’s else’s burdens a little bit lighter. Those who look to someone else to make them happy are most often disappointed. Each one of us is in control of our own happiness. Making those you care about and love happy, makes you happy. Too often, though, we forget that happiness comes from within. Being kind to others, making someone smile, or helping another lighten his or her burden brings with it an inner-happiness that lasts.
I have too often been guilty of using harsh or hurtful words when kind words would have healed and soothed. I’ve chosen thoughtless and harsh words and only made things worse than they needed to be. When I’ve done that, it didn’t make me happy, it only made things worse for myself and the ones I care most about.
I don’t know if there are rain puddles in Heaven, but I know there are rain puddles here on Earth. I don’t know why children find rain puddles so intriguing or why they want to jump and splash in them, sadly I’ve forgotten the reason why. But when I was a child I remember wanting to jump in them and splash through them on my bike. We all grow up though, and those rain puddles that once amused and intrigued us as children are just rain puddles that pool on the sides of busy streets; rain puddles are just rain puddles now – things to be avoided. We all lose our innocence; we all lose our curiosity; we all lose the magical parts of us all of us had inside as children.
We are all in a hurry to grow up, but in growing up we leave so much behind.
I don’t know if there are rain puddles in Heaven, but I know there are rain puddles here on Earth. We shouldn’t wait to find out if there are rain puddles in Heaven, we should jump in the ones we have right here, right now.
Today, jump in a rain puddle; make someone you know feel better; perform just one small act of kindness today – for someone you love or for someone you don’t even know very well. Hug your children and remember what a precious gift they are – and the precious gifts they possess. Jump in the rain puddles all around you. Think before you speak words you know will hurt someone — instead, choose gentler words; make your point quietly and without animosity. Use healing and comforting words when you can. Hateful words not only hurt others, but they also steal the happiness we feel inside
Our time on this Earth is fleeting. On that sunny Saturday afternoon in Tuscon, not one of those who lost their lives ever dreamed that day would be their last day on this Earth. And now they can only hope that there are rain puddles in Heaven. Let’s all hope for the sake of that beautiful little girl, who lost her life that day, that there are rain puddles in Heaven for her to jump in.
Not a single one of us knows if this day is our last day, or if tomorrow will be our last day – or the day after that will be our last day. We cannot know – most of us would never want to know. What I do know is that every day is a gift and not something we’re entitled to — far too often I’m guilty of forgetting that.
Some of us do all we can to extend our lives as long as we can; others, troubled by the increasingly heavy burdens of life – the guilt, sadness, tragedy, and sorrow, choose to end their lives because they have lost hope. But hope, like happiness, does not come from others, it comes from within. There are rain puddles to jump in, but sometimes they are awfully hard to see in the dark.
Whether there are rain puddles in Heaven or not, there are rain puddles here on Earth. Make someone smile today; make someone feel better about themselves; say a kind word to someone you care about; take time to make someone feel better about themselves. If you look to others to make you happy, you will most often find yourself disappointed. Happiness comes from within. Happiness is yours when you make someone smile when you make someone feel better; happiness is yours when you take the time to lift another up and lighten their burdens or ease their sorrows.
I can be a better person than I think I am. I can be the kind of person who brings light into a dark, shadowed room; I can be the kind of person who gives hope to those who are hopeless; I can make someone smile today — and so can you.
I don’t know if there are rain puddles in Heaven, but I know for sure, there are rain puddles here on this earth.
Take time to jump in a rain puddle today