Sunshine and Rain

Jana and I were recently talking about work issues. Jana is a theater teacher and she was working on an upcoming play. Putting on a play is stressful, and one of the stresses is wanting it to be "good," good for the kids and good for those who come to see the play.

But sometimes "good" is hard to get to. We often don't have control over everything we need to control to get to "good." You don't have control over the acting talent and you don't have control over the athletic schedule that trumps the fine arts schedule. And you have your own, mainly physiological, limitations as to how much time and energy you can devote to the production. There are only so many hours in the day and you have to sleep, and eat, and go to work, and take care of family and friends.

I'm sure you can identify in you own life circumstances.

As Jana and I were talking about this, I observed that perhaps rather than focusing on the quality of the final product--Is it good or bad?--we should think about environments and ecosystems. The final product will be what it will be given a host of factors, many of which are out of your control. But what we can do is create an environment where, to use a Catholic Worker phrase, "it is easier to be good." An ecosystem that honors and cultivates goodness, kindness, generosity, forgiveness and compassion. We can be the sunshine and rain for these virtues.

So that's what I said to Jana. "Don't worry about the quality of the show. That'll take care of itself and will be what it will be. Just be sunshine and rain."

That advice is for me as well. Sunshine and rain. Nourish and cultivate the goodness around me. Create as far as my influence extends--and that might only be five feet from my body--an ecosystem where it is easier for people to be good.

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5 thoughts on “Sunshine and Rain”

  1. Such good news for me today. I'm one part of the ecosystem. So many factors play into the "results" I may experience. And I have permission to find joy in being sunshine and rain, letting go of any particular outcome. Thanks, Tim

  2. Great. Reminds me of Kenneson's "Life on the Vine" about cultivating the fruit of the Spirit. Also the slogan of some at my old seminary, "Holiness happens--our job is not to block it." 

    And that reminds me (since I'm free-associating) of Roland Allen's wonderfully titled book on evangelism: "The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and the Causes that Hinder It." How different from the usual "how to" approach!

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