In his classic book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie told the story of Robert Moore, one of 88 men who sank in the submarine Baya of the coast of Indo-China in 1945. While on patrol, they were detected by the Japanese Navy. The Baya battened its hatches, went down 150 feet, turned off all the fans and electrical gear, and tried to be absolutely silent in the water.
Suddenly six depth charges exploded all around them, pushing them down to the ocean floor. The men were terrified as hour after hour depth charges exploded all around them. The sailors were ordered to lie quietly in their bunks, remaining absolutely calm. But the men were so frightened they could hardly breathe, and at any moment they expected the vessel to be ruptured. With the fans and cooling system shut of, the air inside the sub was over 100 degrees, but Robert Moore said he was so chilled with fear that he put on a sweater and jacket. He was coated with a cold, clammy sweat.
The attack continued fifteen hours, and those fifteen hours seemed like fifteen million years. Robert’s whole life passed before him, and all his prior worries seemed to fade into insignificance compared to this.
How big all those worries seemed years ago! But how absurd they seemed when depth charges were threatening to blow me to kingdom come. I promised myself then and there that if I ever saw the sun and stars again, I would never, never worry again. Never!…. I learned more about the art of living in those fifteen terrible hours in that submarine than I had learned by studying books for four years in Syracuse University.
Robert Moore and the men on board the Baya did survive the attack, and he came away with a different perspective on life.
One of the ways to live with less worry and more joy is to consider what might have been, then rejoicing that it wasn’t. If you’re needing a little more joy and thanksgiving today, just think of all the disasters the Lord has prevented, all the trials that have not come, all the diseases you don’t have, all the heartaches that haven’t appeared. Things could always be worse; so be grateful they aren’t.
And thank Him for His shield of favor.