A man sits by himself at the far end of the bar. He stares absently into his drink and hears these words coming from somewhere in the room:
… and when the twilight steals, l know how the lady in the harbor feels.”
When I want rain, I get sunny weather
I’m just as blue as the sky
Since love is gone, can’t pull myself together
Guess I’ll hang my tears out to dry
Friends ask me out, and I tell them I’m busy
Must get a new alibi
I stay home, and ask myself, “Where is she?”
Guess I’ll hang my tears out to dry.
And as he thinks about how lonely he has been since his wife died just a year ago (today), he figures that there couldn’t be a better song to capture how he feels right now.
When he’s with his friends and their spouses he tries to be pleasant, but inside he’s crying, “Why me?” He’s really lost. He’s depressed.
Sounds a lot like Job, doesn’t it? “Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery?” “I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me. If in bed I say, “When shall I arise?” then the night drags on.” (When I want rain I get sunny weather; I know how the lady in the harbor feels, I stay at home, and ask myself, “Where is she?” etc).
What did Job have to rely on in the end? His faith. And that’s what we have to rely on too!
The Frank Sinatra song is melancholy as is the tone of this passage from the Book of Job. The question comes to us: How do we respond to the challenges of life? Do we “stare into a drink” (a kind of metaphor) or do is there another approach?
Do any of you know of a person who, despite having been beaten up by life1 somehow manages to still have a positive outlook? I’ve encountered people like this and I’m sure you have too. Don’t you just admire them? Or maybe you think they’re a little crazy!! I remember one person saying to me (a person who had been dealt a very tough hand in his life): “I listen to Jesus when he said to do “life” one day at a time, the future has enough suffering of its own. Live today. I didn’t buy a ticket this “ship,” but it’s the only one I’m on. So, I’m taking the advice I give to others: make the most of what you have today. I have to tell you, without my faith in God, you’d find me hiding under my bed or worse. I know that God is real, that Christ will save me and that the future is in God’s hands because that is where I put it”
In the end, Job realizes that he has to rely on his faith alone. Sometimes that’s the only thing that lasts!! So there’s a choice to make. When the “black dog”(as Winston Churchill would say),gets the better of you, you can sit at the bar and stare into your drink thinking life is miserable. But there’s also the option to look at life a different way (like the positive person we are so amazed at) and say: “Fear is useless, what is needed is trust…things will come out alright in the long run.”