Monday, July 26, 2010

What I’ve Learned

In a phone conversation with our younger son last night, he confirmed his decision to retire from professional baseball and return back to school. He told the Phillies that his retirement will be effective July 31st.
We knew he had been thinking about this decision for quite a while as he made application to University of West Florida and transferred his credits from University of South Alabama. He’s had a great baseball career. Now he’ll pursue a different career.
In other news, a friend from North Carolina emailed me yesterday and asked what I had learned through my cancer journey thus far. The rest of this blog will be the crux of what I wrote back to her:
What have I learned? Dispersed through my last week or so of blog posts I’ve written about attitude and perspective. That is perhaps what I’ve learned the most in this journey. Regardless of what happens to the physical body, I still have sway over my attitude. I’ve also learned that regardless of how long the battle might be, my faithfulness and diligence must persevere. As I wrote someone the other day, “Just because I have cancer doesn’t mean that I can be a jerk to Eileen or anyone else.” Having cancer, another malady, or any other hardship is not an excuse to let our animalistic instincts and tendencies roam. That is, to let ourselves be governed by our natural tendencies toward bitterness, envy, inconsiderateness, or other Self-serving attitudes. Instead, we have to choose to live life on a higher (spiritual) plane. That is, count our blessings, be thankful always, and find the good in everything. Finally, I’ve learned more clearly that death is not a matter of “if” but a matter of “when.” Therefore, the “when” carries less sting and makes it more essential that I care about “how” I die. I hope to be strong enough to die living what I profess and teach.

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