The noted author,
tells a powerful story about a man who is all alone in a hotel room in
Canada. The man is in a state of deep depression. He is so depressed
that he can't even bring himself to go downstairs to the restaurant to
He is a powerful man
chairman of a large shipping company but at this moment, he is
absolutely overwhelmed by the pressures and demands of life and he lies
there on a lonely hotel bed far from home wallowing in self-pity.
All of his life, he has been a worrier, worrying about everything,
anxious and fretful, always fussing and stewing over every detail. And
now, at mid-life, his anxiety has got the best of him, even to the
extent that it is difficult for him to sleep and to eat.
Stressed out, burnt out. Been there?
He worries and broods
about everything, his business, his investments, his decisions, his
family, his health, even, his dogs. Then, on this day in this Canadian
hotel, he hits bottom. Filled with anxiety, completely immobilized,
paralyzed by his emotional despair, unable to leave his room, lying on
his bed, he moans out loud: "Life isn't worth living this way, I wish I
And then, he
wonders, what God would think if he heard him talking this way.
Speaking aloud again he says,
"God, it's a joke, isn't it? Life is nothing but a joke."
Suddenly, it occurs to the man that this is the first time he's talked
to God since he was a little boy.
He is silent for a moment and then he
begins to pray.
He describes it like this: "I just talked out loud about what a mess my
life was in
and how tired I was and how much I wanted things to be different in my
And you know what happened next?
I heard a voice say, 'It doesn't have to be that way!'
He went home and
talked to his wife about what happened.
He talked to his brother who is a minister and asked him:
"Do you think it was God speaking to me?"
The brother said:
"Of course, because that is the message of God to you and every one of
That's the message of the Bible.
That's why Jesus Christ came into the world to save us, to deliver us,
to free us,
to change us and to show us that 'It doesn't have to be that way.'
A few days later, the man called his brother and said,
"You were right. It has really happened. I've done it. I've
had a rebirth.
I'm a new man. Christ has turned it around for me."
Well, the man is
still prone to
anxiety. He still has to work hard. But, now he has a source of
strength. During the week, he often leaves his work-desk and goes to
the church near his office. He sits there and prays.
He says: "It clears my head. It reminds me of who I am and whose I am.
Each time as I sit there in the Sanctuary, I think back to that day in
that hotel room in Canada and how depressed and lonely and lost I felt
and I hear that voice saying: It doesn't have to be that way."
Further readings on
being born again: