Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Character Lessons

I didn’t realize how long it had been since I last blogged until we had a message on our answering machine wondering if everything was ok. Thanks, Jeannie.

I have recorded a loose discussion of this blog. Click on this audio image or the play arrow to play the audio file:

It has been several good days in a row. I feel stronger and better each day, which is very encouraging. My nutritional program keeps getting adjusted and I believe we are getting the plan down. I hope to post a detailed update to our nutritional plan soon. This will give our congregation an idea of what we are doing, but also anyone else who could have the possible benefit of what We are learning. Some of this will wait for a time when we can interact with our congregation in a Q & A session. I have discussed with the elders the possibility of a Sunday when this can happen. I am looking forward to this time, if it can happen. It will be good to cover a lot of things in one sitting so that I don’t have to repeat it. This blog has helped greatly in that regard. I will measure my stamina for that date and stay as long as I can. I am hoping we can spend some good time together. Get your questions ready and email them to me ahead of time if you can. Use my pastor email address in the church bulletin or contact the church office. Stay tuned.

So what am I learning? I would like to report that my faith and steadfastness has been pristine. But those close to me and my family know otherwise.
1. Patience - It is my ever present nemesis. I get impatient with my progress, with other’s lack of quickness to get things done or to grasp what should be done.
2. Intolerance - I don’t like it when people may not understand what I am going through or what I am trying to do to treat myself as I recover from my surgery.
3. Listening to others - Don’t they know all that I have been going through? I have to remember that others have big needs too and that my calling is to do everything possible to build up others. Hard to do sometimes.
4. Making excuses - A number of years ago, I spoke at a friends’s ordination and told him that even though he may grow tired at times, tiredness is no excuse for the wrong attitudes or actions. That has come back to me. My anti-seizure medicine, Keppra, tends to make me feel irritable. Keppra is no excuse for me to give in to irritability. Hard to pull off sometimes.
5. Anxiety and trust - As I look ahead to the future and its uncertainty from a human point of view, I can track some anxious thoughts. Do any of the rest of you engage in “rabbit trail thinking” like me? I have to regularly take every thought captive.
6. The one that hurts the most is my abruptness or impatience with Dottie. You would think that by now and with all that we have been through over the last weeks, that I would constantly treat her as the treasure that she is. But no, I sometimes forget. Ask her how I am doing. She is a gift and a treasure. We celebrate 36 years together next month.

So, I am still in progress. I hope I never forget this moment and that true inner reformation is taking place. Give me some more time to prove that in depth transformation has taken place. Give me some time. Right now, I am having an experience. Check with me a year from now.

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