Friday, May 14, 2010

Just in Time

Image by Anita Patterson

Novelist Vicki Baum once said, "You don't get ulcers from what you eat. You get them from what's eating you." And what's eating us much of the time is worry. It eats us from the inside out.

I wish I could always be like former baseball player Mickey Rivers. He philosophized, "Ain't no sense worrying about things you got control over, because 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 either, because if you got no control them, ain't no sense worrying."

Maybe that makes sense, I’m just not sure. But even if it does, I’ll likely wind up worried anyway. Which is why I like this story related by inspirational Dutch author and holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom.

Corrie learned a powerful lesson as a little girl. Having encountered the lifeless body of a baby, she realized that people she loved would someday die, too. She thought about the fact that her father and mother and sister Betsie could quite possibly pass on before she does. The thought frightened and worried her.

One night her father came in to tuck her into bed. Corrie burst into tears and sobbed, “I need you. You can’t die. You can’t!”

Her father sat on the edge of the narrow bed and spoke tenderly to his daughter. “Corrie,” he said gently, “when you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?”

She sniffed a few times and considered the question. “Why, just before I get on the train,” she answered.

“Exactly,” he continued. Then he gave her assurance that was to last a lifetime. “When the time comes that some of us have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need – just in time.”

Some years later Corrie and her family, arrested for sheltering Jews and members of the Dutch resistance, were sent to Nazi concentration camps. She, indeed, experienced the deaths of her parents and sister, as well as numerous friends. She endured hardships that she could never have imagined as a young child. But the words of her father stayed with her and proved to be true. “You will look into your heart and find the strength you need – just in time.” She always did. Regardless of the suffering or hardship she encountered, when she looked inside her heart she found the strength she needed – just in time.

If you worry and fret, or if you feel anxious about your future, you may find Corrie’s experience helpful. And if that thing you dread should ever arrive, then you need only look inside your heart. The strength you need can be found there – just in time.

-- Steve Goodier

1 comment:

Cathryn said...

Another good one, Steve. I've put an excerpt and a link to your blog on Catching Courage.

Cathryn Wellner