Thursday, April 2, 2015

An Achy-Breaky ...Whatever

Think About It Thinker Person Standing By Words - A man in a...I once read a saying, "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, either way, you are right."

(Sorry, but I do not have the author/source, or I would provide it.)

This is one of those modern proverbs that just smacks you right between the eyebrows, doesn't it?

Now I am no devotee of the "mind over matter" philosophy, insofar as it is taken literally, as I have previously said.  I do believe, however, that our mental outlook has a good deal of influence on the quality of our daily life.

Where I was raised, there was a term no longer in vogue:  mulligrubbing.  It meant to go around moping, hoping others would feel sorry for you. My mother simply would not tolerate it.

Perhaps it was that influence that caused me to adopt a "better get on with it" attitude, even though I am not particularly sanguine by temperament.  

In any case, I just finished reading a book entitled:  An Honest Look (At a Mysterious Journey) by John Stumbo.  

Whew!  You talk about the pits.  Or in his case "the spits"; because due to a nearly-fatal illness he could neither eat nor even swallow for over a year and a half.  But his body continued to produce spittle at the normal rate, and he had to use a "spit cup".  Eewww!

Eventually, God healed this condition from which doctors from Oregon University Hospital to the Mayo Clinic had unanimously pronounced he would have for the rest of his life.  He was only forty-eight at the time, so he was looking at a lonnnnng running battle with the spit cup. And no eating ... ever.

However, here is the thing.  Although he was healed from the paralysis of his throat muscles and swallow reflexes; he did not fully recover his health.  He had been a marathon runner (and a well-known pastor); but as of the end of the book, written in 2011, he could still just walk a few hundred yards in a hesitant manner.

This represented real progress, though, because he had been completely bed fast, and then in a wheel chair, too weak to even feed himself for many months.  

So while he is definitely largely recovered from the worst of his illness, he will never be the same, barring another miracle.  Here was what struck me most, near the end of the book.  He wrote:
Don't let the fact that you can't do what you once did keep you from doing what you can do now.

Oh, ouch!  How often do I limp around my house bemoaning the days when I could "work circles around" coworkers half my age? When I saw several of my former team members at a memorial service a week or two ago, several mentioned "how good I looked" and opined that "you haven't changed a bit."

Of course, I knew they were only being kind.  But still, to whatever extent their observation was even semi-accurate, the fact is that I have changed - a lot - in the past five years.

Haven't we all?  Still, I want to ignore, as often as possible, or deal with what hurts, aches, creaks and snaps, and do what I can do now.  It is, after all, the only now I will ever have.
                                              # # # # #
Question:  Are you making the most of your "now"?  I encourage you to not waste today, pining over yesterday, or mooning over tomorrow.  One is a memory, the other is a concept of time which may never occur.  Carpe' Diem - cease the day! 
Until next time - Marsha (your achy but grateful gardener)
Philippians 4:13 - I can do everything through him who gives me strength.


  1. Thank you, thank you for you words.
    You just took me by my shoulders and shook some sense into me!
    It's good to know that I'm not alone.
    Carpe' Diem

    1. Christine, Thanks so much. Stumbo's book shook some sense into me. :) Guess we could all use a little more (or a lot more) good sense. Blessings to you at Easter. Marsha

  2. Thank you. It's been a long, difficult week. Time to Carpe' Diem! :D

    1. Hello, Say What. I stopped by your blog and saw that your son is sick. Hope he feels better soon. May you be blessed this Easter.

  3. I heard about this man. What a story! Carpe' Diem!

    1. Mari - Always good to hear from you. Yes, this John Stumbo, has quite a story to tell and he does it with more honesty than one usually sees in print. Blessings to you.

  4. John Stumbo is one of my favorite people, his writings have encouraged me so many times through the years. He was the pastor at my sister's church in Oregon for years. They still miss him. I read through his blogs all during the healing process in his life and it was rich.

    Good to see you still blogging again... I on the other hand have been a 'soft' blogger for awhile. It's ok, that's part of life.. :)

    Happy Easter to you and your family!!

    1. Sonja, What a privilege for your sister to sit under his teaching that must have been. Stumbo preached at our church a week ago Sunday, but I was not there. But I heard such good things afterward, that I went to the church office and got his book and CD. Wow!

      Thanks for your "blogging encouragement." I have taken a couple of lengthy breaks, but God seems to be calling me to keep writing. So that is what I am doing. :) Many blessings to you and your family at this Easter season! Marsha

  5. What an inspiring post, will have to check out that book for sure. Easter blessings!

    1. Lea, Thank you for leaving a comment. The book is well worth reading - and given that I always have about a dozen books on my "to read list" - I do not recommend books lightly. :)
      Happy Easter!

  6. You always come up with thoughtful posts. It sure is the best attitude. from another achy breaky gardener.