As I stared out the rear window of the bus, I thought, 'What if I die? This may be my last night ever.'
At the last minute, we decided to take an all-night bus through the Peruvian Andes down to the coast. Now I was being driven over high mountain passes and on winding, too-narrow and (I was certain) unsafe roads. We live in the Rocky Mountains of western United States. But still I was not prepared for roads too narrow for oncoming traffic to pass by. Every time another vehicle hurled toward us, one of us was forced to pull over and let the other by. Nor was I ready for the supersonic speeds at which our bus rollicked around hairpin curves, or an all-night white-knuckle ride on a too-often unpaved shoulder-less mountain road carved out of the side of sheer vertical slopes lost in clouds. And I wasn't ready to die – at least not that particular night.
I thought that maybe I could sleep during the trip, but all the anxiety of what reminded me of an out-of-control amusement park ride kept me staring out into the night as if by sheer willpower I could keep the bus upright. 'What if we crash?' I thought, and began to count all the possible ways this bus would slide off the mountainside. I worried about the driver, who was apparently working a 12-hour shift. What if he fell asleep? My mind was just too filled with "what ifs..." to find rest. I needed an antidote to worry.
Then I remembered five comforting words: "And it came to pass..." Not coincidently, the phrase is found throughout the Bible. It's an intriguing phrase..."and it came to pass." I've never read, "And it came to stay." It's always, "And it came to pass..."
Whenever I have encountered problems over the years, they came to pass. My anxieties and worries also came to pass. In fact, I have forgotten most of the fears that once kept me awake over the years. I've learned that most of my toughest times and seemingly impossible situations are not forever. And sufficient strength can be found for those few that may linger awhile.
Besides, what could I do? The bus would either make it or not. Like New York Yankees outfielder Mickey Rivers once said, "Ain't no sense in worrying about things you got control over, 'cause if you got control over them, ain't no sense worrying. And there ain't no sense worrying about things you got no control over, 'cause if you got no control over them, ain't no sense worrying about them."
So I rested in the peace that, like most of what I worry about, this will come to pass. And before long, the sun rose on a beautiful Peruvian landscape. It was true, my worries came to pass.
Can the same be said about problems that worry you?
-- Steve Goodier