Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Little Engine That Could

I remember the story but I don’t think I ever thought about it until a couple years ago.  I was teaching a lesson to a high school youth group and as I read it I realized something that I never noticed before.  Look at the title again, the little engine that could, not couldn’t.  I can see the little guy struggling to get up the hill, huffing and puffing, saying “I think I can, I think I can”.  But the whole time he was worrying about not making it, deep down, he had the ability to do it.  He could.  The story isn’t about trying but about doing.  It’s about a little train that was made to travel along the tracks and take people here and there.  It’s about action, belief and commitment.  He had to start up his engine, believe in himself and move down the tracks toward the hill.  He had the ability to get up the hill all along but didn’t think he could do it.  You and I are exactly the same as that engine!  We have abilities that we’re afraid to use.  We can get up the hill but a lot of times we don’t even start the engine.  You have to realize that whatever you want to do in life, whatever your desire is, whatever drives you, you can accomplish.  If you have the desire to become a doctor, then God has put in you everything you need to succeed.  If your passion is to be an Olympic athlete, and you possess the God given talent, then you have exactly what is required to do it.  Not everyone gets the gold medal and a lot of Olympic hopefuls don’t even get to the Olympics but if the desire is there, then you can’t ignore it.  You were made for a purpose, you could end up being the coach that uses years of experience to lead another athlete to the ultimate prize.  You don’t know what’s around the next corner of your life, but enjoy the journey, start your engine and go up the hill.  As Jimmy Valvano said, "Don't give up, don't ever give up!" You can!        

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tuesdays with Josephine

That was our day, Tuesday.  For the last few years I spent some time with my oldest patient who would have been 100 years old in September.  99 years, 5 months and a day, an incredible life. Josephine went home to be with the Lord early this morning.  I have mixed emotions, selfishly wanting our Tuesdays to continue but happy knowing that she is at peace after a long battle with congestive heart failure, on hospice for the last year.  I didn’t have to hop on a plane every Tuesday like Mitch Albom did to visit Morrie, she was just a couple miles away. I enjoyed our conversations, talking about her dinner menu or her egg for lunch that day.  She couldn’t bowl any more, that ended when she was 95.  The days of cooking dinners, shopping with her daughter and babysitting were gone too.  She wanted to hear about my kid’s games or what was happening at the office.  She loved to tell me about her husband, the chiropractor, her grandson the musician or her granddaughter the teacher.  Last Tuesday she was looking forward to seeing the snow.  She enjoyed the simple things of life: a smile, a flower, a good meal and her family.  Our lives get complicated and hectic, we forget the simple things.  If we could only be more like Josephine, enjoying relationships, laughter, and a good night sleep, which for her was few and far between.  She displayed contentment, optimism, faith, hope and love.  She had faith in her Savior, loved her family and friends, and was hopeful of her future eternity.  Josephine was a beautiful woman who had a wonderful life.  I will miss our times together and look forward to seeing her again in heaven.  Tuesdays will definitely not be the same.