A Sea of Troubles

There's nothing written in the Bible, Old or New Testament, that says, "If you believe in Me, you ain't going to have no troubles."

-- Ray Charles

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:34)

A psychotherapist friend told me of a patient who savagely banged her head against the wall because she thought her car had been scratched.  As it turned out, the scratch was nothing more than a shadow that had fallen on the side of her car.  The patient was obviously disturbed.  Yet those of us who have had teenage drivers at home will certainly understand the impulse.  For the most part, however, we learn to take life’s little reversals in stride, if only to avoid putting too many dents in our skull.   

Leaving aside those soul-shaking traumas that can change the course of one’s life, we are all assailed by numerous lesser assaults on our equanimity.  Even those who prefer to count their blessings may endure periods in which it seems that life is nothing more than one damned thing after another.  We may be tempted to react to each fresh aggravation by saying, “It’s the story of my life.”  But the truth is that we never know at any given juncture how the story will turn out.  Whether we view ourselves as the author of our life or its victim, the fact is that we never write the final chapter, much less the postscript.  I prefer to think the story is told through us rather than by us, so I’ll just have to wait for the dénouement. 

A story is told about an old farmer whose plow horse runs away.  A neighbor commiserates with him about his rotten luck.  “We’ll see,” the farmer declares.  Sure enough, the horse wanders back the next day leading three wild horses.  The neighbor congratulates the farmer on the sudden turn in his luck.  “We’ll see,” says the farmer.  The next day the farmer’s son is thrown trying to tame one of the wild horses and breaks his leg.  The neighbor sympathizes with the farmer’s misfortune, but the farmer only replies, “We’ll see.”  Soon after, military men come to town to draft young men into the army.  The farmer’s son is spared because of his broken leg.  The neighbor expresses amazement that things turned out so well for the farmer.  But the farmer is still equivocates. “We’ll see,” he says.  

© Copyright 2004-2021 by Eric Rennie
All Rights Reserved