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January 18, 2021

One of the greatest memories of my football career was carrying the football. I averaged 54 yards a carry in my High School career! What, you never heard of me? I played center for thee Thorp Cardinals football team. In this particular game, I snapped the ball, our quarterback handed off to the running back and the back headed downfield. Just as he was going past me, the ball got knocked out and perfectly bounced into my hands. Did I say that I played center? I stood there for what seemed like an hour and then I decided to run the ball (fortunately in the right direction) and rambled on for 54 yards where I was tackled, 3 yards short of a touchdown. I was out of breath, ready to die but we lined up for another play and we scored and then got the extra point. I was so excited about my run as I walked over to the sideline (plus it would give me a chance to rest). But then coach yelled: “Budzinski, why did you stop short of the goal line?” “But coach, I had like ten guys on me!” “I don’t want to hear excuses😉!”
“The rain is humble. Compared to the ocean and other larger bodies of water, it is small. Sure, a rainstorm can span many miles, but each individual drop pales in comparison to the other water forms. In its humility, each drop does not need to be named like the great bodies of water around the world. They are at peace in their anonymity. Living their vocation without being marked on maps.
Movements and movement makers must be humble. When they seek to make a name for themselves it is no longer a movement but a campaign. A named ocean poured on top of a plant would not bring growth. It would drown and kill the crops. Nameless rain falling down onto and around and beneath vegetables will move them to grow. This takes work and intentionality. One must be resolved not to let it be about them as others very often will try to celebrate an individual in the midst of the larger effort.
I will never forget a necklace that my old spiritual director M.M.C. used to wear. During one of our sessions, I remember looking at the cross that she was wearing and seeing the Latin phrase Soli Deo Gloria written on it. It means ‘To God be the glory’ or rather ‘To God alone be the glory.’ When the farmer prays for the rain, the farmer prays to God and gives God thanks. The prayer is not to the rain, and the gratitude goes not to the rain but to the Sender of the rain. To the Rainsender alone be the glory. We are just droplets. We are not the Cloud.
Insecurity is a dangerous path that so many of us finds ourselves walking down from time to time. This lack of security in our identities and in how we are seen often leads us to desire attention, affirmation, appreciation, and acknowledgment. We end up in this state for many reasons. Sometimes it is because we never felt affirmed while growing up. Or perhaps we don’t receive appreciation professionally or in our family lives. Or maybe our harsh opinions of ourselves make us subconsciously desire the care and love of others to remedy our pained self-esteem.
Thus, we often desire the eyes and praise of those around us because it helps us feel better about ourselves. It’s nice to be appreciated. Healthy relationships find gratitude and affirmation flowing freely between two individuals in love. And yet, the rain and my old spiritual director would say that God alone deserves the glory.
My sister use to enjoy telling me to ‘remember that you ain’t nothin’ but a worm!’ For years I thought this was just sisterly teasing. But later she explained to me that she was trying to encourage me to be humble. I was, she told me, better off to remember that compared to our great big God, I was just a little worm. It is God doing all the heavy lifting in my life. And here is the beautiful thing: That great big God is concerned even with little worms like you and me. Soli Deo Gloria.
Something healthy happens when we direct the glory to God. It frees us. It allows us just to be raindrops. We don’t have to perform. We don’t have to be beautiful or brilliant or perfect. We also don’t have to worry. We move in a trust that the Rainsender is keeping watch over the affairs of our lives. If God is to receive all of the credit, then God ultimately will carry all of the responsibility. The rain carries no worry as it flies to the soil. It soars with love. Knowing that it will soon carry out the Rainsender’s will. (Charles Lattimore Howard /Pond River Ocean Rain/)
Reflecting on that experience, I was looking for affirmation on how well I had done. (For the record, coach was just teasing me and did say well done. He even asked me at the next practice if I wanted to take a few reps at running back. So funny 😉.) However, it was a team effort and there was blocking ahead of me (although some were in shock that I was running the ball, especially after probably ten yards 😉). But it was God that gave me the talent, ability and determination to be on that field. To God be the glory. We are the rain and God helps us to grow and Jesus calls us to help others grow and the Holy Spirit helps us to soar with love in growing for ourselves and for others. I am ok being a raindrop and trying to do the Rainsender’s will. Let us glorify God. God bless and God’s got this!

About Rev. Bud Budzinski

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