Would it help?
By John Ogunjimi
The height of the cold war.
The United States and the Soviet Union fear each other’s nuclear capabilities — and intentions.
Both sides deploy spies — and hunt for them.
Inspired by true events.
That’s the text on screen at the beginning of the movie, Bridge of Spies. I’m not a big fan of history, and my laziness in reading history books makes me sometimes resort to watching historical movies when I’m less busy.
I’m not a movie reviewer — and I don’t intend to sound like one now. I’m just going to pick out a lesson form this historical drama I watched.
There’s this Russian spy, Rudolf Abel, that was caught in the US. James Donovan, an insurance lawyer, was charged with the responsibility of defending Rudolf, like Atticus Finch was appointed to defend Tom Robinson in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Okay, maybe not exactly, but something close, you know?
James Donovan presents himself to his client and tell him his mission. After Rudolf accepted that Donovan should represent him, this conversation ensues between them:
Donovan: Then do not talk to anyone about your case inside of government or out, except to me to the extent that you trust me. I have a mandate to serve you; nobody else does. Quite frankly, everybody else has an interest in sending you to the electric chair.
Donovan: You don’t seem alarmed.
Rudolf: (Shrugs) Well, would it help?
When the case got to trial, there’s another scene where this happened after Donovan and the prosecuting counsel returned from the Judge’s office:
Rudolf: How did we do?
Donovan: In there? Uhm… Not too good. Apparently, you’re not an American citizen.
Rudolf: That’s true.
Donovan: And, according to your boss, you’re not a Soviet citizen either.
Rudolf: Well, the boss isn’t always right. But, he’s always the boss.
Donovan: Do you never worry?
Rudolf: Would it help?
Then, after the trial and conviction, Rudolf was sentenced to 30 years. The defense counsel had earlier advised that Rudolf should not be killed as he could still be useful for them. As it turned out, they eventually had to trade Rudolf for Gary Powers, an American Pilot was who was shot down from the CIA’s top secret U-2 spy plane over the USSR.
This conversation takes place between Rudolf and Donovan on the bridge where the exchange was to take place:
Donovan: What do you think will happen when you get home?
Rudolf: I think I’ll have a vodka.
Donovan: (Chuckles) Yeah. But, Rudolf, is there no possibility–
Rudolf: … that my people are going to shoot me.
Donovan: Yeah. You are not worried.
Rudolf: Would it help?
I haven’t been able to shake of the thought of Rudolf’s calmness in the midst of it all. The way he never worried is quite impressive.
Perhaps, you have been worrying for so long that if worrying were a university course, you’d have a PhD by now, but how has it helped?
I mean, all the years you have invested in worrying about things you can control, how has it helped?
How has worrying helped you become a better person? In what minutest way has it proffered any solution to the problems you’ve been facing? How does worrying put food on your table, or money in your pocket? How does it boost your health? How has it helped?
This is what Jesus has to say about worrying:
“So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34 (NIV).
A song writer puts it this way:
“One day at a time, sweet Jesus,
That’s all I’m asking from you.
Just give me the strength
To do everyday what I have to do.
Yesterday’s gone, sweet Jesus,
And tomorrow may never be mine.
Lord, help me today, show me the way,
One day at a time.”
I pray that God will cure us from the worrying spirit. Amen.