Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

August 26, 2018


A way out of the doldrums


Discouraged? Dark cloud hanging overhead? Got the blues? So miserable you want to go back to bed and pull the covers over your head? I know the feeling. I have been there.

When I’m caught up in the doldrums, and misery hovers near, I find it helps to remember that “this too shall pass.” Then I try to think of happy times when, instead of despair, I had pancakes and Conecuh sausage for breakfast. Life is not all bad. There are good days.  

A little fortitude, and the memory of a beautiful moment, can help me find a way through some dark cloud. Flying has taught me that there is often brilliant sunshine just above the darkest cloud.

        Beautiful moments sometimes occur during painful experiences. If we cherish them and store them in our hearts, they can help us when trouble comes again. And it will come. It’s always on the way.

One of my precious memories is about a time my wife was critically ill in a hospital. I was deeply troubled. Her doctor was worried and not sure what to do next. I was not able to stay by her side at night because our four small boys needed me at home. I left the hospital one night in a cloud of despair.

        The next morning as I walked into Dean’s hospital room she smiled and said quietly, “I am well. The doctor said you can take me home today.” I was stunned. The day before her life seemed to hang in the balance. How could this be?

        She explained it this way. “Yesterday afternoon I felt terrible. It was hot and stuffy in the room. My nurse opened the window and soon I felt a gentle breeze. Suddenly I felt a Presence in the room and in my mind I heard a voice say, ‘you are well, my child.’ Then I realized I felt well. I did not feel sick anymore. I knew I was well.” And she was!

        Can I explain her recovery? No, I cannot. I did not even try. I just said, “Thank you, Father!” and moved on. Why spoil a miracle by trying to figure it out? Best just to enjoy and remember the wonder of such a golden moment.  

        Remembering energizes my faith when times are hard again. If it happened once, through no merit of my own, it can happen again. And I have not been shy about asking the Lord to do it again.  He is able. This is his world and he is in charge.

        Another beautiful moment stored in my memory bank occurred when our youngest son was nine years old. One afternoon I started to leave home to keep a speaking engagement in a nearby town. As I walked out the door Steve asked if he could go with me. “Sure, son,” I said, “come on.”

        As we began our journey I turned the car radio on. Steve reached up and turned it off. Then he said, “Dad, why don’t we just talk?” I said, “Son that is a great idea; let’s do that.”

        We talked for a long time. Then, after a bit of silence, he said, “Dad, we like being together, don’t we?” It was an electric moment. Those words were forever etched in my mind that afternoon. And that remains one of the most beautiful moments of my life.

        When relationships are strained and harsh words have been exchanged, it helps to remember a child’s voice saying “We like being together, don’t we?” Broken relationships can be healed by recalling golden moments when they were like they ought to be.

        When life is tough, remembering beautiful moments can restore our hope and renew our courage to face not only the blues but even the worst of times. The doldrums don’t like being around people who can remember and celebrate beautiful moments. + + +