Let me say first of all how overwhelmed and humbled I am to have received email notes from so many of you wishing me well, and praying for my healing. It has indeed been quite the journey, and one I never would have believed I would have ever taken.
So, as things stand right now, I will have a torn rotator cuff, which sometimes behaves itself and other times, when I forget and stretch the arm and put something heavy in my hand, I remember what the word “torn” truly means. Now, if I were in charge of the world, which unfortunately right now I expect to be held up by paperwork or something, the doctors who are taking care of me (and being paid quite well, thank you!) would by now have waved their magic wands, and repaired what is torn, and let me have the opportunity to experience all the pain and healing that comes with rehab. Looking forward to it.
Unfortunately, that’s only one half of the “stuff” I get to work with. Not to go into great detail, but somehow, I am operating with a couple of quarts low in the blood department, and so I have some procedures scheduled for January. I also have some “thing” going on with my kidneys, and so I am spending most of my days drinking glass after glass of water for some reason. I then go in, and have more blood drawn, and then wait for the magic reports that show I have “minor progress,” but a long ways to go. Now again, I know there are some things that the medical folks can do – as uncomfortable and icky as they are – to take care of where there might be something not quite sealed up in the blood department, but they are also watching another situation, and waiting for it to heal before they can move forward and roto root me up and down, and fix it all.
So – here we are a week from Thanksgiving and I am spending my time not doing a whole lot. I can’t lift much, or extend my arm, and I have to take my pills on a pretty strict basis, to heal up things so I can be healthy enough to get medically whacked again. Now, I have always been a pretty positive guy, and have believed truly that all will be well in the end, and if it not yet well, it is not yet the end. This has been a strong and pushy challenge, though. I need to keep reminding myself that as much as it is true that self-praise stinks, then self-pity stinks even more. It is true as humans that each of us tends to set the bar of “oh woe is me” pretty low, when things are not going well. Our normal pattern of activity appears to carry the perception that what we are going through at any given time is far worse than what anyone else is going through. Hence, the pity.
However – that’s a bunch of baloney. Yes, we are all given the opportunity to experience wonderful and fantastic episodes of life, and we also now and then walk though the swinging door into the room which carries the name of tragedy, or disease, or injury or just plain bad stuff. We all go there in our lives – that’s part of the human condition. So, I have to remind myself, and anyone else who is listening, that it truly is not what happens to us that matters – no matter what that happens to be. Instead, it becomes the challenge and work to decide and to be resolved in our lives to determine what we do with what happens to us that is the critical and key turning point to living an intentional and abundant life.
Right now, things are kind of crappy, it seems. It “should” be better, “must” improve, but at the root of it all, my joy in life rests in my own mind and heart, when I decide to look at what is happening to me from the point of God’s powerful love and sustaining grace, and not from the view of the world’s largest pity party, where the plates and cups are all chipped and cracked.
So, I have my task set before me, as we all do. Again, I cherish your prayers, and will once again repeat that it’s not all about me – it’s just what I am going through right now. I pray for your health as well, and for a future that is joyful and hopeful, as together we enjoy this life placed in our hands.
I’ll try to write more often – probably not every day, since it kind of chews up the right shoulder – but especially as we move into this holy and great time of the year, I’d like to spend it with you all. Take care, and blessings.
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.