In Summary
  • I remember reading a story about worry that drew the message home quite aptly. I share the same story with you today;

Undoubtedly each one of us has experienced moments when everything dulls and dims under the weight of our what ifs and maybes. This constant worry phenomenon, sometimes hits the climax of worry about worrying.

I remember reading a story about worry that drew the message home quite aptly. I share the same story with you today;

In some far away land lived a young couple, Andy and Anne. They had just got married and were expecting their first child. As a wedding gift, Anne’s father had bequeathed the newly weds a herd of bulls. Andy was an experienced herds man having grown helping his parents with their own cattle but had never owned a herd, much less had a wife with a child on the way.

The rains were late and Andy worried about what the cattle would feed on, whether they would die if no rain fell, what pray would he tell Anne’s dad, further he would have no income for his young family. His new bride full of dreams for an exciting new union was in agony with Andy’s constant worry. The anxiety was taking its toll and causing significant strain on their union.

Anne went off to see her father and expressed her concerns about the situation in her home. Her wise old dad assured her not to worry. She was to go home and tell Andy that it had been three years since the last rains and in his experience the rains always came every three years, so he should focus on tilling the fields and preparing for the rains.

Andy was delighted and relieved, got busy tilling his land and enjoying his young marriage. The old man did not know if the rains would come or not but he knew that his new son desperately needed the peace of mind.

Fortunately the rains came and the fields were full of all manner of feed for his cattle.

Many moons later, some of the herd was ready to sell and Andy yet again was beside himself with worry as to whether he would get buyers for his prized bulls. Andy withdrew from enjoying time with Anne and their young daughter as the constant worry took over. A much-distressed Anne sought her father’s advice once more. The old man reassured her that having been in the business for decades he had many contacts that he had already lined up to buy. All Andy had to focus on was ensuring that he looked after his bulls with all the care and attention they needed to become the best in the market.

Andy emboldened by the old man’s help and knowing that he was a guru in the industry relaxed and focused on ensuring the bulls were the best they could be. Unknown to both of them, the old contacts that their father had in the industry had ceased to be of use as they were no longer in the business.

Alas, the bulls were ready for market and Andy took them to the big auction in their region. The bulls were bought lot after lot, all at very high prices in record time.

His father-in-law came along to the market late and Andy rushed over to him apologizing saying he was sorry that all the bulls had been bought and he did not have any left for his father-in-law’s buyers. But he was most delighted that he had made a lot of money for the coming season.

The old man responded saying all was well for he did not have any buyers lined up really. He was confident in the ability of the buyers in their region to recognize superior bulls and would buy them in minutes. He had only tried to save his son the trouble of worrying about the circumstances that faced him. “The lesson son,” he said, “worry does not resolve your challenges. Strive to always do your best in your circumstances and work with what you have.”

As with the story, we have really no control over external events in our lives. Be it whether in the case of Andy, it will rain or whether he will get buyers. He did however, have full control over what preparations he was required to make.

All we ever have in our control is our talents and ourselves. And as Winston Churchill aptly reminded us in the following quote our challenge is to always be ready; he said “to each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.”