A lot of the lessons I’ve learned so far in life I’ve learned with my dad. It’s always seemed that no matter what we did, whether hiking the Grand Canyon or taking a trip to the grocery store, I always ended up learning something, looking at the world a little differently. This time was no different.
While we were living in Florida, one day my dad and I decided to go to a water park. We left early in the morning, for we knew this one in particular was pretty popular, and was especially crowded on the weekend, which is when we went. Although only living a half hour away, by the time we’d got there the line to get in was already stretching to the parking lot.
After finally getting inside and lathering up with sunscreen, we couldn’t wait to get on the slides. But so were the hundreds of other people there. Every slide greeted us with a mile-long line, and by the time it was your turn, you’d almost forgotten what slide you were waiting for. Add a heat index of over a hundred and it’s not exactly the best day ever.
By afternoon we’d just managed six slides when it suddenly started to rain. It slowly got harder and harder until we realized that it was there to stay. That was fine with us though, a little rain never hurt anyone. But as the wind quickly picked up and the sky started to fill with lightning, slides were abandoned as everyone ran for cover.
Every guy there was packed into the men’s locker room which definitely wasn’t made to fit all of us. We all assumed that the storm would pass by quickly, but as we reached the one hour mark with no progress made, people started to give up. Everyone but my dad. While everyone else filed on buses and walked to their cars, we stayed put, my dad confident that the storm would pass soon. I didn’t tell him then, but even I thought he was a little crazy.
But sure enough, after just about every visitor had left, the rumbles of thunder started to sound more distant. The wind started to die down, and the rain was letting up. Five minutes later, the sun was shining once again, with not a single cloud in the sky. And I came to a realization: we had the whole park to ourselves.
No lines wrapping around the slides, no bumping into people in the wave pool, no little kids to disturb the peace in the lazy river. We were able to walk right up to the top of every slide there, but we felt like we were on top of the world. And you bet we rode every one that day.
It was after that day with my dad that I learned firsthand how patience truly is a virtue. If there’s something in life you want, go get it. Chase after it, don’t let the opportunity pass you by. I’m a firm believer in doing so, I talk about it on here often. But there are some things in life that can’t be chased, that can’t even be seen or thought of until they happen to you, and you never really know when they will. It goes to show that you never know what’s around the corner, but you’ll never find out if you run right by it. Good things really do happen to people who wait.
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” – John Quincy Adams
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