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by: Bill Greer, Chicken Soup for the Veteran's Soul

"Let me see your kindness to me in the morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for my prayer is sincere." - Psalm 143:8 (LB)

Arthur Gordon is a favorite writer of mine. Once he came to New York to interview Dr. Blanton, a co-founder of the American Foundation for Religion and Psychiatry. Mr. Gordon sat in a restaurant waiting for the esteemed psychiatrist to arrive. As he waited, his mind went back over his life. By the time Mr. Blanton arrived, Mr. Gordon was sitting there with a frown and a very sad look on his face.

"What's the matter, Arthur?"

"Oh," the writer replied, "I've just been sitting here thinking about all the 'ifs' in my life."

Dr. Blanton suggested, "Let's drive over to my office after lunch; I want you to hear something."

Later in his office, Dr. Blanton put on a tape and said, "I'm going to let you listen to three different people; they're all patients of mine and they are mentally ill. Listen carefully."

For one hour the great author listened. When the tape was finished , Dr. Blanton asked, "Tell me what single trait all these people had in common."

Arthur Gordon thought a moment and then answered, "I can't think of anything."

"Then I'll tell you," the psychiatrist said. "All of them kept repeating the phrase, 'If only...if only...if only.' These words cause mental sickness. They are like poison. These people must learn to say, 'Next time...next time...next time.' These words point to the future, to a new day, to healing and health!"

I trust my past to God. My eyes are on the future!




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