Finding Our Way Through
First things first: Happy Birthday today to Jana, my much better half! (I won’t spoil how young she is, but we are coming up on our 22nd wedding anniversary this September…:)
Meanwhile, thank you so much to all of you who have been praying for my MRI result from last week. I have good news to report: my tumor remains stable!!! This is wonderful news because it essentially means that nothing new has shown up in my brain since my craniotomy of 43 months ago!! Hopefully, that does not also mean that I have gained no new knowledge or insight in these past 3.5 years. No way. This journey – or War – has taught me and my family much. Here are just a few of these lessons and insights:
1. Life often feels surreal to each of us; but it is not. Truly, the most odd and seemingly random things into which we stumble [or fall] or which happen to us, have immense meaning and are indeed often the stuff of the most significant elements of our lives. C.S. Lewis wrote about this: “The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all of the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is, of course, that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day.”
2. Relationships are the meaning of life.
3. God cares about each one of us – without favoritism, bias or a shifting like shadows.
4. Jesus Christ was the wisest and most wonderful man who ever walked the earth.
5. My brain cancer war – and your battles and wars – have purpose. On this note, I have been reading through bits of 2Corinthians in the Bible during the last couple of days. I love chapter 1. Starting from verse 3 it reads: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.” Where else in all of literature or life will one find such words of wisdom and hope than here in the Bible? Nowhere! We see that our troubles and trauma will turn to treasure, our hurts to hopes, and our crying to comfort. For, God is the Father of compassion; He is a loving father, unlike any earthly father we have known. God actively comforts us if we look to Him and ask of Him. We have been comforted so that we can comfort others. Jesus took all of the pain, the sickness and the hurt of all mankind, suffering so that he understands our terrible hurts and sufferings. And if we suffer, then, we are being made more like Him. And if we suffer like Him, we are also comforted in spades like Him. For He is compassion. So, press on in your hurts knowing that Jesus identifies with you and knowing that He gives meaning to your great pain.
6. Life is our struggle to find our way through to hope. If hope is the bullseye, only a perfect shot will suffice. Only the brain surgeon’s perfect cut and cauterization can cure the man suffering the debilitating defects of a dire tumor.
7. Meaningful hope, true hope, only comes through a person who is hope. We cannot hope in things – they are passing away.
To be continued…
And so how, you ask, does all of this relate to distance running? Well, distance running is suffering, is it not? So, even when we willfully suffer on the running trails of life, we can take solace in seeing that we are in this way being like Jesus.
Run in such a way — as to get the prize. Perfectly.
Ciao for now,