I am thinking about entering a new profession. I am considering becoming a professional rain maker. Last year, for my vacation, I took a seven day motorcycle ride. The first day of my trip the weather was beautiful. Sunny skies, blue skies, warm weather, and a gentle breeze. The next five days it rained. It rained long and hard enough to give some competition to Noah’s flood. I spent most of those days in some hotel room. On day seven, the day of my return trip, the weather was beautiful. Sunny skies, blue skies, warm weather, and a gentle breeze.
This year, I decided to try it again. Same results. What are the odds of that? All of which leads me to believe that I may have a gift. I just need to find a drought-stricken area, plan on a motorcycle trip to that location, and wait for the heavens to open. Maybe some communities would pay big bucks to be re-hydrated.
In 1970, I was a raw recruit at Marine Corps Depot, Parris Island, SC. Once, at 0530 in the morning, our platoon was outside the mess hall waiting our turn to get in. The drill instruction, Sgt. Ferris T. Johnson, a 21 year-old Viet Nam vet with a Purple Heart to his credit, growled that he didn’t want to go on that morning’s run. So, he called several of us from Platoon 223 front and center and ordered us to do a rain dance. The other guys began to gyrate wildly and jump about while I stood at attention.
As a relatively new Christian, I was uncomfortable with the idea of doing a rain dance to the Marine Corps rain god, even if it was all a sham. Sgt. Johnson stuck his face in mine and demanded to know why I wasn’t dancing. As respectfully as I could, I fearfully explained that, as a Christian, I was uncomfortable with dancing for a false god. He stepped back, looked me over, and leaned back in my face and hissed through gritted teeth, “Then you better pray to your God for rain. And it better %$&*# rain!”
Standing at attention, I bowed my head and silently—with desperation—prayed, “Please God, make it rain!” Suddenly, a lightning bolt flashed across the dark skies and, with a thunderous boom, it began to pour. The D. I. looked at the skies, look at me, and said...well, he said a swear word. But we did not do the three mile run that day. Coincidence? Not in my book.
I never had to put it to the test again so, I am 100% in praying for rain. Apparently, I am also 100% in going on a bike vacation and attracting storms. However, I am reluctant to try to profit from rain making. I suspect that if I were serious about it, a bolt of electricity just might knock me off the bike.
Looking back on it, I think that two rained-out motorcycle vacations are likely the result of poor planning and a failure to heed weather warnings. But I also think that, on a dark morning in South Carolina those many years ago, God heard a prayer for rain and the rains came. As a new believer, I was both surprised and thrilled. And my faith was increased. God is the true rainmaker.
The drill instructor never really harassed me again after that day. And those who have been to boot camp know that THAT was the real miracle.
David Epps is the pastor of Christ the King Church, 4881 Hwy 34 E., Sharpsburg,