The Alabama Indy Grand Prix last Sunday was delayed by rain—did you see that? Hmmm, rain smacking you in the face at 180 mph? That’s a sure-fire way to cause a delay. That sweet Nashville boy Josef Newgarden came through, though; and came in first…a day later. Yes, delays of all sorts intrude on us and make it so we don’t finish what we started—at least not right away. Rain delays postpone our games, our meets, our races, our yard work, and our picnics.

This spring in the Northland has been a time of cold delays and of snow delays. Look out your window and hearken back to the blizzard a few weeks ago. It’s all but a memory now, but how did we feel when it hit? Our seed catalogues sat staring at us in disbelief, our seed packets the same. Our spades, brooms, and hoes moved over to make way for the snow shovels once again. The schools closed and we dug out. We sighed deep and persevered. But all that builds character, right? That’s what our grandparents would say. And they would be correct. Any delay causes you to step back a bit, reminds you that you are not in charge at all, and impresses upon you that patience is indeed a virtue.

Because life is full of delays. Big ones and little ones. Forget those little rain and snow delays—how about the biggies—accidents, sickness, surgeries? How about marriage, childbirth, divorce, death? All those cause delays—swerve us off the path onto something different, maybe something we never imagined, maybe something we didn’t plan—perhaps it put us in the pits—but maybe we learned something while we were there. Maybe we got brand new tires, better fuel, some great words of encouragement, or a thumbs up and an improved plan of attack for life—the biggest race of all. Maybe we can learn to enjoy those delays, take them as a surprise, and see the good in them. That mid-April snowstorm had our family all together all day—making pancakes, playing cards and hiking in the howling wind. It had us building the fire a little higher, taking things a little slower, and laughing a little louder, too.

At the Indy car rain delay, look at all the fun stuff we learned while waiting—the fact that James Hinchcliffe peed his pants on lap 19 during the first red flag not the least of them. All those interviews gave us a nice look at the drivers we love and thought we knew. We all needed something to do while we waited—spectators, commentators, and drivers alike—so we chatted, we listened, we laughed, we got to know them; and you know what? It was fun. See—it can all be good; you just have to smile and let it be.

Hey, so what if rain is smacking you in the face at top speed? So what if you end up in the pits when you aren’t ready? That’s okay, really—just do as young Josef Newgarden did: keep your cool, pull over, smile big, wait a while, then cross that finish line—yes, eventually you will—and you might just come in first.

Let’s think of something to do while we’re waiting

While we’re waiting for something new to do.

Let’s try to think up a song while we’re waiting

That’s liberating and will be true to you.

Let’s think of something to do while we’re waiting

While we’re waiting ‘till something’s through.

You know it’s really alright;

In fact, it’s downright quite bright

To think of something to do

That’s specific for you.

Let’s think of something to do while we’re waiting.

-Mr. Fred M. Rogers

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

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