Sometimes, blessings come in strange little boxes.
It was March of 2008, St. Patrick’s Day, and I was busy living life, enjoying our three daughters. We’d taken a wonderful vacation to Maine the previous summer and were hoping to maybe do it again in June.
But there was something else going on too. I had been having some rectal bleeding, a nuisance more than anything that had hung around for the better part of three weeks. Finally, at the urging of my wife, I saw a doctor. A colonoscopy followed and on March 17th I was given the grim news—“I’m very sorry, but you have colon cancer.”
At thirty-five with a wife and three daughters and a hopeful future I had to ask, “Lord, in my head I know you’re in control, but my heart is wondering what’s going on here. You sure you know what you’re doing?”
A whirlwind of a month later I went in for surgery to remove the tumor and eighteen inches of my colon. A month after that I started on a six-month chemotherapy regimen.
As you can imagine, all this was cause for a little reflection on life and living. I started evaluating my priorities, separating the wheat from the chaff, if you will, drawing a line between the things that really matter and those things that only seem to matter.
After much reflection, much searching, and much wrestling, and in the words of the Preacher of Ecclesiastes, here is the conclusion of the matter: I wanted my life to matter; I wanted to do something meaningful, for God, for others. So what does all this look like? Where is the point at which idea and practicality intersect? Well, for me, being a Christian, it begins at the feet of my Savior, placing my life before Him and saying, “Take it Jesus, it’s all yours. I surrender it to you.” And it fleshes itself out by approaching everything I do with an eternal perspective. Do my motives and goals bleed with issues of eternal weight? Are my intentions meant for more than smiles and temporal fuzzies? Do my words and actions promote truths that are truly life-changing and perspective-altering?
I sure hope so. I sure hope my life is worth more than fleeting sentiments and momentary feelings. I hope others walk away from the life I live and the stories I tell truly impacted and provoked to really think. In my book, that’s success. That’s what really matters.
This is just one of the many blessings this strange little box has produced, but it is oh so important. Life is too short and too much is at stake to be spending time on what only seems to matter. At the end of my life, no matter how short or long it may be, I want to look back and be satisfied that I got it and in getting it I lived a life that mattered. Really mattered.
Cancer. What a strange little box, indeed.
Read more about my story:
The Battle Begins | Thoughts of Death | The First Time I Cried | A Moment of Clarity | Waiting for the Hammer to Fall | From Cussing to Trusting | The Deepest, Darkest Valley | Feeling Vulnerable | The Emotional Maelstrom | The Gross Stuff | more to come . . .
The Blessings of Cancer . . . Our first thoughts of cancer is that it’s a curse. And it is, but there are blessings to be found there as well. In this session we’ll look at cancer from a totally different perspective and see it in a new light.
5 Ways to Cope with Cancer . . . We’ll discuss the five non-negotiables for navigating through that valley of Cancer.
5 Things Suffering Reminds Us Of . . . For most, cancer is a game-changer, a life-altering experience. Perspectives and priorities change in an instant. In this session we’ll discuss the important truths suffering allows us to focus on.
Things I’ve Learned From Those Who Suffer . . . I talk with those who suffer every day. Some of them have a proper perspective, some don’t. Here we’ll discuss the life lessons I’ve learned from those who have suffered the most.
The 3 Things That Matter the Most . . . When you strip life of everything that glitters and flashes, when you take away all the extras and luxuries, only three things really matter. What are they?
The Virtues of an Irritant . . . Suffering can be used for good. It sounds strange, I know, but we should never let a journey in the valley go to waste. Here we’ll look at how to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”
To download a copy of the Press Kit for Michael’s latest book, A Thousand Sleepless Nights, click on the link: Press Kit -AThousand Sleepless Nights
To schedule Michael to speak at your church or group, email him at michaelkingwrites (at) yahoo.com.