Monday, March 24, 2008

What's Important?



There's a man in our church whose name is Bill. Bill is one of the kindest, nicest man you'll ever meet. Late last summer, Bill was diagnosed with cancer of the bile duct, a rare cancer that affects primarily the liver and pancreas. Through the fall months, Bill was at Mayo Clinic, preparing for a liver transplant from his son, all the while, waiting for his insurance company to approve the surgery. Once approved, they opened him up for some pre-surgery exploration and found the cancer too far advanced. Bill was sent home and ended up in the hospital here in K.C. due to his organs not functioning properly. They did not think he'd live past Christmas. He did. Since leaving the hospital, Bill has been able to come to church twice, the last time being 3 weeks ago. You can see the effect this disease has had on his body but considering the severity of it and how much weight he has lost, he actually looked pretty good. Bill was able to come to church yesterday for Easter. I could not believe how much he had declined in 3 weeks. He was so frail. But he was so happy to be in church and his wife was so happy that they could come together.

I would venture to guess that some of the things that were important to Bill last summer maybe aren't so important anymore. Probably for his wife either. I would think that they have learned how to treasure each day that they have. Last night as I lay in bed and thought about this, I realized, you know, none of us is guaranteed a "later" or a "tomorrow." The time we have is right now!! Perhaps I need to re-evaluate what I deem important to me because maybe I need a serious priority shift because in the grand scheme of things, maybe some stuff I have near the top aren't really that important after all.

I've been reading, "How to Win With People" by John Maxwell, which has turned out to be an amazing, life-changing book for me. The chapter I just read is called, "The Approachability Principle." Just how approachable am I? I'd like to think, Yeah, I'm so open anyone can come and present me with bad news, a problem, etc. But I'm not as approachable as I'd like to think. How approachable am I with my family? That needs to change. After pondering this all day, I had to go apologize to my son. Yes, his attitude did need correcting but I could have handled it in a far better fashion. I want my son to know that he can come to me no matter what and we'll deal with it...together! I hugged him! And while I lay there and thought of Bill and family, I held my husband a little tighter.

I know this post is lengthy today. This stuff was on my mind all night. And by the way, the end of the story for Bill and for everyone else who is God's child is a story of hope and life. The miracle may not be that Bill is healed, (although he will be upheld in prayer until his last breath) the miracle may be passing from this life to the next into God's presence. Isn't that what we celebrated yesterday? A line from one of my favorite songs says, "Death has lost and life has won!!"

Take time TODAY to celebrate the people in your life!!

7 comments:

raminthethicket said...

Very nicely written. We all need these little reminders now and then ;o)

Betsy said...

I just loved this. Thanks for sharing. I've been thinking a lot of the same thoughts lately. Nothing like seeing someone close to death to make us do a reality check in our own lives. Too bad we slip into the old ways so easily!

Laurie & Chris said...

We are going through cancer in our life right now and I can tell you you really think before you speak to anyone. It is the thoughest thing I have gone through in a long time.We say I love you alot more in this house that is for sure. We are taking one day at a time I'm sure that is what Bill and his wife are doing also.

Rebecca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Sr. said...

Great post! We need a lot of reminding about what really matters.

nannykim said...

I think about that a lot. Life is short and we never know when a loved one will die. When we have a deadly disease or think we do, it transforms how we think about life, and things, and people. I have been focusing on enjoying each moment in the day in God's presence.

Karen said...

You are so right on this post. The priest at my brother's funeral even said, "Take time with those you love, you don't know how much time you have". My brother was taken way too early from us and his death has given me a whole new outlook on life. It's sad that it takes something like Cancer/death to wake us up and tell us to take time and smell the flowers and tell those you love how much they mean to you.