Pray for Rain…Pray for a Drought

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

     We owned and operated a water park in Central Florida for twenty years. Water Mania generally was open eight months out of the year with the colder months of Nov-Feb closed for routine maintenance. During the eight months it was open, the most productive times were the two weeks surrounding Easter and then Memorial Day through Labor Day. These were the days when you had to make enough money to sustain you through the slower and closed times. There was a lot riding on these days and we did everything within our control to make the most of them.

One thing that was not in our control was the weather. A hot, humid, and sunny day would produce tens of thousands of dollars more than an overcast and rainy one. For this reason, we all became very interested in the daily weather report. My wife and I would look forward to the news each night with great anticipation because we knew that the tourists in the area and also the local crowds were planning their activities for the next day  and were surely taking into account the weather as they made those plans. It was so discouraging when massive storms came into town. It was equally discouraging when they were forecast but somehow never materialized because the damage had already been done when the families planned their activities the night before.

It became natural to start praying that there would be no rain. It doesn’t take long before one realizes that this is a very selfish prayer. I began to think of the farmers in the area that needed rain for their crops. Why would the Good Lord listen to my prayers when the farmer is praying for rain. So I compromised and said I would be ok if it would just rain at night instead of during the day!

I found this same problematic prayer occurring when my children were competing in athletic events. My temptation would be to pray for my child to win but then I realized that other parents were praying for their child to win and so I once again felt selfish in my prayers. The very process of approaching Deity in prayer made me temper my prayers to instead pray that all participating might play to the best of their ability. I might add a few special requests for my child that were particular to him/her but that would not come at the sacrifice of the opponent.

Whether you pray or not, the HighFive Your Life principle is to keep in mind that the journey through this life is not being taken by just your family or those in whom you have interest. We all are on the road trying to take our loved ones with us. There will be some pushing and shoving on this road that will happen just because we are on a crowded road together. One of us may trip. Someone may bump into you or a family member along the way. Toes will be stepped on. Feelings bruised.

It is a compliment to our society and ability to live one with another when somebody helps or makes room for another journeying on that road. It can happen in simple unselfish prayers. It happens when you sacrifice a little of your own glory so another may make some progress along the road. It is also contagious. When one person sees another acting in an altruistic manner, it touches a nerve in such a way that the desire to spread it forward occurs. Of course, the opposite occurs too. When somebody begins to protect their turf in such a way that they begin to become the center of the universe, others will fall right into place and begin to protect their own turf. That seems to be human nature.

But it is also human nature to love something more than yourself. In the pushing and shoving that occurs as we move along the road of life together, every now and then a courageous person arises who makes room for his fellow traveler and helps him along the way. He realizes that the way he makes it to the end of the road with a fulfilled and joyful life is to make sure that others make it there before him.

HighFive Your Life Principle: Keep in mind that the journey through this life is not being taken by just your family or those in whom you have interest. Make room for, and in fact, help along those others traveling the road of life.

Please share your comments regarding this principle or add any other principle that you discovered in the stories I shared. Thank you for keeping your comments appropriate for all readers.  HighFive Your Life…Gary


10 thoughts on “Pray for Rain…Pray for a Drought”

  1. I absolutely agree with the principle, but encourage everyone at present to pray it will rain in the western states. The need is enormous, and there is power in combining our faith through prayer.

  2. Gary, (aka Mr. Larson)
    As a former employee and manager of yours throughout much of the 90’s at Water Mania I can truly say I was blessed to learn many things from you and many others along the way. Although I was not Mormon I learned a great deal of wisdom both professionally and spiritually from you and the people you had surrounding you for those many years. I have to say I never saw you worried about the weather but how I do remember those daily counts that we would have the girls in the office send to you on those god awful old fashioned beepers back in the day. At the time, I never realized the financial loss you took during those off season months while still paying the few of us that you did keep on to paint the wave pool or in my case one year the Coke Can. Today in my working life I am a corporate controller for a health care company and all I ever do is worry about numbers and how they affect the bottom line. I guess the point I am trying to make is you as an individual and the seriousness you placed on my shoulders to effectively run your park shaped me to be the savvy business person I am today but then as a father I am constantly reminded of the times I was your recreation coordinator, I was so blessed to work with you and your wonderful wife and all of your extended family and church family hosting the many events at Water Mania and learning how to make family times memorable! These priceless memories that I have retained have also shaped me as a father and how to make my own family times memorable for my kids. I have since moved from Orlando and now live in Tennessee, as I watch my own kids grow and reach the teenage years I can only wish they too had the opportunity to work for one of the most amazing places I ever worked for. I thank you from the bottom of my heart with leaving me the best memories one could ever have. I may not have been the prime example at the time of a outstanding employee, but I can tell you now the things I learned from you personally truly shaped me for the years to come! Thank You!

    1. Jon it was so great to hear from you and to see how wonderful your life has developed!I enjoyed the update. That water park gave so many of us so many great memories. I know that you must be a great husband and father and an expert at your job. Thank you for your kind words. I hope you are able to contribute your wisdom each week to this blog. My very best. Gary

  3. Yes Gary, these thoughts are very valuable. To share a positive energy or experience keeps your mind and those around you positive. Our mind can be overwhelmed with the negativity that surrounds us, that even secretly, those negative thoughts can affect so many additional aspects of our lives. Thanks for sharing these!

  4. Gary you are amazing …….. I will never forget the day you and Van hired me. I started work at Water Mania the Tuesday after labor day 1988. So many people asked why leave a big company to go work for a family owned and operated company?? I smiled and always knew what a smart choice i made. I experienced 21 great years with you and your family, your mom was right “working is a privilege”. So many great memories, laughs and tears we have shared together. I look forward to reading your book and staying in touch with you.

    1. You will always be an icon in our lives! It is surprising how many people come by the yogurt shops and remember Water Mania. Those were a tough but great twenty years!Thank you for being such an important part of it. Hope to see you each week on the blog and hear from your great depths of wisdom. You have a lot you can teach others!!

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