The past week has been a time of mixed blessings
. spending memory making
time with four different family members and their families, annual
medical check ups with good reports, a new “son” living and working with
me for a few weeks, and seeing the play, “On Borrowed Time,” with
daughter Barbara Full and husband Jim as main performers.
The play was about a grandfather that was trying to
put off death because of his love for his young grandson. No, it was not
a morbid tear jerker, but it did make me think about life and death. At
my age, several of my friends are facing long term illnesses and even
It reminded me of a story given to me by a doctor
friend about our part and God’s part in our healing:
“Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is
always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When
someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, ‘If I were any
better, I would be twins!’ He was a natural motivator. If an employee
was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to look
on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me
curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, ‘I don’t get it!
You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?’
Michael replied, ‘Each morning, I wake up and say
to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good
mood or . . . you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a
good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim
or . . . I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every
time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their
complaining or . . . I can point out the positive side of life. I choose
the positive side of life.’
‘Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,’ I protested.
‘Yes, it is,’ Michael said. ‘Life is all about
choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice.
You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect
your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line:
It’s your choice how you live your life.’
I reflected on what Michael said. Soon thereafter,
we lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice.
Several years later, I heard that he was involved
in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.
After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was
released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.
I saw him about six months after the accident. When
I asked him how he was, he replied, ‘If I were any better, I’d be twins.
Wanna see my scars?’ I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him
what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.
‘The first thing that went through my mind was the
well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter,’ Michael replied. ‘Then, as I
lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose
to live or . . . I could choose to die. I chose to live.’
‘Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?’ I
Michael continued, ‘. . . the paramedics were
great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine, but when they
wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the
doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read ‘he’s a
dead man.’ I knew I needed to take action.’
‘What did you do?’ I asked.
‘Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting
questions at me,’ said Michael. ‘She asked if I was allergic to
anything. ‘Yes, I replied.’ The doctors and nurses stopped working as
they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Gravity’.’
Over their laughter, I told them, ‘I am choosing to live. Operate on me
as if I am alive, not dead.’
Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors,
but also because of his amazing attitude . . . I learned from him that
every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude is everything.”
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for
tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its
TODAY IS THE TOMORROW YOU WORRIED ABOUT YESTERDAY.