from Amphibious Force Pacific Fleet – The Amphibian – 2 February, 1952
Former President Herbert hoover, recalling his experiences with the late President Calvin Coolidge, says that the solemn Yankee had a way of his own for meeting difficulties. “If you see ten troubles coming your way,” Coolidge would say, “just wait; nine of them will solve themselves or disappear before they get to you. Then you will have only one to deal with.”
There is an old proverb to the effect that a man shouldn’t cross his bridges until he comes to them. There is an encouraging bit of scripture which says the same thing better –“Cast your burden on the Lord.”
Josh Billings added his own testimony in this matter when he said, “I have had a lot of troubles in my lifetime, but most of them never happened.”
A very large part of the world’s worry arises at precisely this point. We grow anxious and tense over the things that can happen and may happen, but seldom do.
As we look forward into the unknown, our imagination conjures up a succession of terrors which, conceivably, could come out of the future. As we contemplate these horrible possibilities, we grow anxious, tense, and sometimes discouraged. The spiritual exhaustion form which so many people suffer is of this sort. And the price we pay for worry is always excessive, and never worth it.
There are times when the best way to look at the future is by looking at the past.
“If anyone had told me that i would have been able to stand up under the load I have carried the last month, I would have called him crazy,” said a business man whose business had trembled in the balance for months. “It has not been easy, and I am not yet through with it, but I am no longer afraid. Every day when I come down to the office and face that high wall, I remind myself that I got over one just as high yesterday, by the Grace of God. That means that I will somehow get over this one. Then i tackle the first thing that comes up. I wrestle with it until I have carried it as far as I can, and then I go back and pick up something else. the first thing I know, I am making progress. Sometimes it is painfully slow, but I find it easy to keep up my courage when I am inching forward.
That is the way some bridges are crossed – an inch at a time. no man needs to grow discouraged if he can count up at the close of the day a few inches gained during the day.
It is just a little bit odd that we have given bridges a bad reputation. After all, any bridge is easier to travel than an unbridged ravine. someone has said “a detour is always better than the main road. If that were not true, there would never be any detours.”
Finally, God never expects any man to cross his bridges alone. he stands ready to go along with any of us. And that makes a lot of difference in crossing bridges.