I could hardly believe what I was seeing. It was raining (hard to see from the photo) but standing on the corner were two young men advertising a benefit car wash. Who, I thought, would be crazy enough to stand in the rain to advertise a car wash? I drove around the block to see if they had given up, but even though the rain had increased, they were still at it. I thought, "there must be a lesson here." But when they smiled and waved as I took their picture the lesson that had initially come to my mind quickly changed.
The lesson I initially pondered was a negative one: Don't waste your life selling car washes in the rain. The main idea was that we frequently get stuck in ruts and even when our situations change (ie. it starts raining) we insist on going about our business as usual. Now that's not a bad lesson because it is true. People will get used to a parenting style, or a business strategy, or a conflict resolution plan; but as the children age, the business environment shifts, or the cause of the conflict changes, they will keep right on implementing strategies that never seem to work! But as I watched these young men promoting their car wash, and as I witnessed the fun and fellowship they enjoyed; an entirely different thought entered my mind.
The fact is, into every life a little rain is going to fall. Why should we let that deter us from pursuing our dreams or enjoying that moment of our life? No matter what goals we are pursuing, there are going to be setbacks (times when it starts raining). But what a blessing if we can simply enjoy the presence of our family and friends and keep working towards the goals that God has set before us.
The other day I saw a fascinating video on the character trait of "grit." The author said that in looking into factors that determine success in school (and other life endeavors) it's not so much high IQ, or talent, or emotional intelligence, that makes the difference, but rather "grit." The author defined "grit" as perseverance or the ability to keep going in the face of trials. I like that!
So "thumbs up" to all who strive to sell car washes in the rain. They may get a little wet, but they are exibiting a lot of "grit." My guess is, that all in all, they had a blessed day!
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.