What can you learn from Noah’s Ark?

Like many other children, my three-year-old son did not care for church and he didn’t mind saying so. He hated church almost as much as he loved his grandmother.
So he was delighted to have her as a baby-sitter when we went to the Canadian Rockies for a long weekend. But there was a downside. She took him to church!
At least she didn’t make him dress up in his little tie and wear dress shoes.
Once at church, he sat very still on her lap until he piped up in a loud voice, “YOU KNOW WHY I DON’T LIKE CHURCH? IT TAKES TOO LONG!”
At the time, we went to a small church, with about 100 in attendance. Everyone heard his statement, including the minister.
Later, as a grade-schooler, he still didn’t care much for church, but he liked Sunday School. What he learned in Sunday School was the story of Noah’s Ark.
One time he said, “I wished they wouldn’t tell the same stories. I already know about Noah’s Ark!”
In spite of that, or possibly because of it, he and his friend, Scott, often constructed an intricate city in the sandbox, working on it all day—only to demolish it in a big flood with the garden hose.
According to a well-known anonymous essay, those stories of the great flood he studied in Sunday School probably taught him a lot. The title of the essay is “All I Really Need to Know About Life, I Learned from Noah’s Ark.”
It’s amazing what we can learn from unexpected places—if we listen.
1). Don’t miss the boat. Keep in mind that you don’t have unlimited time left, especially when you’re this side of 60.
2). Remember that we are all in the same boat. Other people have problems, too. So be sensitive.
3). Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark. Be proactive about what you want to accomplish today, this week, this year. Set goals and act on them.
4). Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big. Well, maybe not 600! But how about 100, or 80 or 60.
5). Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done. There will always be critics. If you listen, you’re sunk.
6). Build your future on high ground. Don’t settle for the easiest way. Keep climbing up and achieve your dreams.
7). For safety sake, travel in pairs. It’s more fun, anyway.
8). Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs. If you walk slower than you did, remember that slow and steady wins the race.
9). When you’re stressed, float a while. Breathe deeply and meditate when your blood pressure rises.
10). Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals. Trust your own skills. Don’t rely on someone else to authenticate you.
11). No matter the storm, there’s always a rainbow waiting. When you have to cope with losses and health problems, always look for the rainbow.
As you age, remember to make the most of every minute and be like Noah—keep fit, plan ahead, don’t get “old,” have fun, don’t give up, and always look for the rainbows in life.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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