Friday, March 16, 2007

Spider-Man and Kentucky Fried Chicken

As we go through life, we all deal with issues. Character issues, money issues, relationship issues, etc. Issues within ourselves and those that involve others. We deal with these issues in different ways, usually by avoiding pain and seeking pleasure, in differing degrees.

That being said, I believe we are basically all in the same boat, in this manner. What happens though is that we need to be tested to sharpen our will. We need to rise to challenges that greet us. It does little good to sharpen a sword on a wooden dowel, yet that is what I have found I have done for most of my life, in embracing pleasure and avoiding pain. My current challenge is to live a healthier lifestyle, by exercising, eating a bit more properly (meaning, no more school lunches!) eating *less*, and doing what I need to do, instead of just what I want to do. I find that my physical issues seem to parallel my spiritual ones. One cannot gorge themselves on Kentucky Fried Chicken all day each day, avoiding the simplest physical tasks and expect to stay healthy. The same is true in a spiritual sense. (It has been a long while since I have had KFC, I use this example to make a point.)

We need to make a difference in the lives of those around us, not in enforcing our dogma upon them, but in forgiveness, love and acceptance, regardless of where they are in life. “In as much as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it unto me.” Accept those who are unacceptable, without approving of destructive behaviors. Befriend those who are friendless. Love those who are unloved. Help those who are helpless. This can be done right where we are, each and every day, by direct action and through prayer. (I realize this is a misleading statement, as prayer is strong and effectual action, but I state this as a contrast.)

There is truth. There is a moral standard for our lives. His name is Holy. And HE *desires* communion with us. With Him, all things are possible.

I was at the cardiologist’s office yesterday for a full battery of tests, per orders from my GP (my physician). They injected me with all kinds of radioactive goop (I have been known to climb the wall at work, but that is out of a sense of frustration, rather than having the powers of Spider-Man.) They took pictures of my heart before and after exercise. They also took ultrasound pictures of my heart going lub-dub.

While I was in the waiting room between tests, I was talking with a gentleman in his mid sixties, whom I shall call Mr. Goldberg. He had medium length over the collar black hair which had just started to thin. He also had a thin lower moustache, the kind that Clark Gable used to sport, an interesting contrast. He spoke with a New York accent. He told me of the numerous operations he had undergone. He had stents implanted, (these are somewhat like the little springs found in retractable pens that are used to keep arteries open) then a quadruple bypass, then more stents. I asked him about his life and he began to tell me such wonderful stories. Living on a farm in Maine and rebuilding a house from the 1800’s. Building a log cabin using nothing more than a 4 inch hatchet. I was amazed at what Mr. Goldberg had accomplished. These are things that I can only dream of. When I expressed wonder at the life he had lived, he pooh-poohed me, seeing only his failures and disappointments. I considered this, how our view of ourselves is so often colored by our experience. It made me wonder at how God sees us, truthfully.

I believe that God was with me in that office, yesterday. You see, I was not cursed, having to undergo all these tests, being poked, prodded, and injected. I was blessed, because now, I have someone new to pray for. Sometimes, it’s all just a matter of perspective.

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