The first time that I really remember making a survival goal was when I learned that my oldest daughter Kelly was carrying a little girl. My goal was to live long enough to see her born even though the popular medical opinion was that I didn’t have much of a chance of this. I tried to cut a deal with God, I don’t remember what the deal was. (Now I laugh at the absurdity of cutting a deal with God, as I have said before – God is going to do what God is going to do.) Thanks to dumb luck, naiveté and the grace of God I was able to hold my granddaughter Megan Ruth in my arms after she was born on September 21st, 2015. Sometime later I baptized her and earlier today I was able to go to her first birthday party. God is good! There are no words to describe how this little girl melts my heart.
Because I am a human being I am greedy. Now I want even more from God. Recently, I started to pray that I would live long enough so that she would remember me. As soon as I started the prayer I stopped it, as I realized that I was about to pray a terribly selfish prayer. We are not here so that God can help us accomplish our purposes. We are here so that we can help God accomplish God’s purposes. I have long said that the most powerful prayer of all is to pray “Not my will, but thy will be done”. I say this because to pray such a prayer is to hand over all control and power to God, as if God doesn’t already have control and power. Now my prayer is that I can enjoy Megan and be a positive influence in her life.
So what are your goals? What are your prayers? Whatever they are, hand them all over to God and truly pray, “Not my will, but thy will be done”. My prayer for you is that you would realize that, whatever your prayer or situation, God is there for you, loves you just as you are and has blessed you to be a blessing. God created you to help you accomplish God’s purposes in the world.
I began the week by biking nine miles on Monday morning and then starting Physical and Occupational Therapy at the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Center – I recommend them highly! On Wednesday and Thursday they strapped me into a harness hanging over a treadmill and turned on the treadmill! It was wonderful and exhausting. It was so wonderful to be on a treadmill again for the first time in a year and a half, after having done most of my running on them for the past fifteen years. It was also one of the most exhausting workouts I have ever had. Despite my best effort, I was only able to make it a third of a mile. If I am serious about ever crossing the finish line of the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon again, I very literally have a long ways to go. On top of all this, I am trying to do my homework assignment – sit down and stand up at least one hundred times a day! On Friday, I was able to bike another thirteen miles. When my tumor comes back, I want to feel that I did everything within my power to strengthen my body for the fight.
Other highlights of the week were that I was surprised by the visit of dear friends from Norway and received an e-mail from a friend in Greece that I got to know when we were both in Transitional Care. The greatest highlight of my week, and possibly my year, was snuggling with my grandson Connor on Saturday morning while we watched cartoons.
Enjoy all that life has to offer – things big and small. (Like eating birthday cake and singing “Happy Birthday to you”- neither of which I was able to do last year.)
Thank you for your prayers, for reading these simple writings and your encouragement, not only to me but to my entire family as well. Together, let us keep the faith and as the song goes let us, “Look upwards, travel onward and be not afraid”.
Blessings to you all and happy first birthday Megan Ruth!