Although I’ve been the subject of a blog before, I’ve never been a guest blogger—until today! I’ve been considering what to write about ever since Dallas suggested I might try my hand at it, and have found myself pondering both the ridiculous and the sublime. Then I remembered an experience I had this past summer, and decided it would be the topic of my first post.
I had entered the grocery store 45 minutes earlier, with the sun beating down from clear blue skies. But as I completed my purchases and headed for the exit, a torrential downpour had commenced. A few of my fellow shoppers and I paused in the store’s entryway between the two sets of glass doors.
The old man was seated, waiting calmly and patiently on a metal bench placed there. “It will stop in a few minutes,” he said to a woman fidgeting nervously on an adjacent bench, clutching the bags that held her purchases. “It always does. You’ll see; in just a few minutes, the sun will be shining again.” His smile was reminiscent of the sunshine he spoke of: warm and inviting.
I hadn’t expected rain, so had brought no umbrella. I found a spot to sit and wait, and watched as the deluge continued. After a few minutes, the storm’s intensity decreased somewhat, and I decided to seize the chance to escape to my van, thinking that with a sky this gray and overcast, the storm would surely not abate until much later. I steeled myself and pushed my shopping cart out the door and into the parking lot, hurrying through the growing puddles and trying unsuccessfully to dodge the raindrops.
Only a few yards from the store, the rain increased in intensity, and the bags of groceries in my cart were soon soaked. I made it to my van and lifted the tailgate, which offered partial shelter from the rain for me and my cargo. I hoped that the rainwater dripping from the plastic bags wouldn’t leave my van smelling too damp and musty. I returned the cart to the corral and hurried back to my vehicle, wet and rather uncomfortable. I wiped the raindrops from my eyeglasses and then pulled my van out of the parking space.
Before my van had even cleared the parking lot, the sun came out and the rain clouds, which had so recently been unloading water by the bucketfuls, dispersed. Once again the sun was shining and the sky was blue. The wet pavement and the steam rising from it were the only evidence of the thunderstorm which had just passed.
I thought again of the man in the store, and the advice he had given. I suspect he had lived in the area for many years, and that he had more than a passing acquaintance with our summer thunderstorms. He knew that, despite their intensity, the storms would quickly pass, and that with a little patience and common sense, one could “wait it out”.
As I reviewed my experience that day, I realized that Heavenly Father often places those with more experience in our paths to help us weather the storms in our lives--parents, teachers, and church leaders who have walked paths much like our own, and who have learned something about what we might expect along the way. When we seek and follow their advice and counsel, we are less likely to experience the negative consequences—ranging from the merely irritating to the truly dangerous—that often come with those storms. While it’s true that there are lessons we are here in mortality to learn, it’s also true that we don’t have to touch the stove ourselves to know it’s hot! We can avoid a lot of heartache and disappointment if we take advantage of the wisdom and inspiration of those who have successfully weathered a few of life’s storms, and who are anxious to ease the way for their fellow travelers on the path.X-Drive