How much time do you spend worrying about the future and about things that might happen? Probably more than you’d like to admit. You worry about your family, your finances, your job, the future of our society, and the Church. But is that really helping you become holy and happy?
Recently on Father Simon Says™ Father Richard Simon gave some advice to a listener who was worried about her future. The listener shared that she had struggled with loneliness in her younger years. She is now caring for her elderly parents, but she thinks about when her parents are no longer around and worries that she will once again be lonely when they are gone.
Fr. Simon told her, “I’ve got a story for you that may help. It’s a story by Corrie Ten Boom who was a great evangelical, I think she was Dutch Reformed. And she hid people from the Nazis during the Second World War. She wrote the book The Hiding Place. A real classic.”
Fr. Simon recalled that in The Hiding Place Corrie tells the story of when she was a little girl and realized that her parents were getting older and she would likely live much of her life without them. She asked her father, “Papa, what do I do?”
Her father responded, “Corrie, when we get on the train when do I give you your train ticket?” Corrie responded, “Just before we get on the train, Papa.”
“That’s the way it is with God,” her father told her. “He gives us the train ticket when we need it.”
Father Simon told the listener, “Now, what you’ve done is spend your life worrying about the train ticket. You’re not alone at the moment, you’re with your parents who you love and you’re caring for them. And before that, there were people in your life.”
He pointed out that what many people do (himself included, he admits) is concentrate on what they want from God but haven’t received, and in doing so they overlook the blessings that God is giving them.
“Why are you looking at what God has not done to the extent that you don’t see what God has done?” Father Simon asked. “God has given you a beautiful life. A life of care for these two people who cared for you. That’s beautiful and it will shine in heaven.”
Father Simon noted that, ironically, thinking about yourself and what you want all the time is the sure prescription for loneliness. He encouraged the listener to reframe her thinking and, rather than thinking about who will keep her company when her parents are gone, pray for God to bring other people for her to serve and love when that time comes.
“When the time comes God will open the door for you so that there will be other people you can serve,” he said. “Think of it that way. ‘Lord when I am done serving these people, use me to serve others.’ I think that idea of concentrating on what God has not done is really fatal.”
Tomorrow is not promised to us, so rather than worrying about the future, make the most of the time the Lord has given you today.
“Live well today,” Father Simon encouraged. “Whom can I serve today? If tomorrow comes you and Jesus will take care of it. But this is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Listen to the full conversation below:
Father Simon Says airs weekdays at 1:00 p.m. Central on Relevant Radio® and the Relevant Radio App.