May 21,2014 was a typical spring day. It was sunny and warm. The perfect weather for an outdoor graduation. The only problem was that severe thunderstorms were in the forecast for that evening set to begin after 6:00pm. I was to attend my cousin’s high school graduation starting at 7:30. Due to the predicted storms, the high school was supposed to send a message a few hours before the event if the location would change.
Four o’clock came and went, still no word from the high school staff. So, my family and I headed to the local stadium and waited for the ceremony to begin. Just minutes before the soon-to-be graduates marched onto the the field, a school staff member announced that the ceremony would be postponed.
We were instructed to take cover on the west side of the stadium, in the restrooms, or in our cars. For about an hour, we waited as the rain poured, thunder roared, and the lightning struck through the sky. Finally security officers told us that the ceremony was cancelled and would be rescheduled for a later date. This is the first time in the history of my former high school that something like this has happened.
Though, I was disappointed that I got all dolled up for nothing, I learned a valuable lesson from the experience: prepare for the rain. Sometimes we will have sunny moments in our lives when things are going well. Our health is good, our relationships are thriving, we are growing professionally, and we engage in a regular spiritual practice. Other times it will seem like a storm is brewing in our lives, like all hell is breaking loose. We may be 50 pounds overweight, recently broken up with our mates, jobless, or in debt.
Know that those sunny days won’t last always! Just because it is sunny at 4:00pm doesn’t mean it will be at 7:00pm. I’m not advocating for preparing for the worse. But I am saying to be prepared when the sun is no longer shining. That preparation may include saving your money even though you just got a raise; staying in contact with your family and friends in case your partner leaves you; always keeping healthy snacks in your house so you can stay fit. More simply it could mean keeping a umbrella in your car, purse, or backpack in case it rains.
My point is don’t look at the good times and expect them to remain forever. As with the weather, everything is temporary. Be prepared for when things change.
I encourage you all to celebrate your good days and also prepare for your challenging days.
Always and Forever
Forever and Always