Found out last night that one of our family's closest friend was just diagnosed with cancer.
Stops you right where you are. Seriously, the news will stop your last distracted thought cold in its tracks (something about getting the Christmas lights out of the closet). You put down whatever you have in you hands and you sit on the sofa and try to process what was just said. But you can’t…
45 years old… we've been friends for decades.
Can’t be right.
The thoughts pile up on each other, with no way to get out of your head. They build and build until there is some kind of psychic pressure that rises up threatening to explode. Then you realize it’s FEAR that’s really behind all that pressure, starting to drown your ability to function. FEAR that’s trying to take over and FEAR that’s starting to paralyze. But then something else grows, bright and brilliantly beautiful as it dawns in your mind.
Suddenly life gets very sharply focused.
First things become reoriented back into their proper place in our minds eye. Decisions that we struggled with are now much easier to determine in the dark shadow of the diagnosis. Things we've put off that need done, suddenly take front and center of our thoughts and all the vexing little trivial anxieties of life evaporate. Our faith re-asserts itself into the equation and we start to recall verses or sermons from the past that seem to talk about hope and trust in difficult times…
Psalm 9:10 (ESV) “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you"
When you think about it, we are all fading to one degree or another. Our cells are slowly loosing control of their functions and beginning to blink out one at a time. As we age, the process accelerates. Whether we contract a fatal disease or develop mutations we call cancer or slide off a ditch on an icy bridge, we all have a day and time when we’re going to run out of road.
The question is… what will we do between now and then?
My friend is a strong and healthy individual, a health professional and surrounded by good medical care. I’m confident she is going to be just fine. BUT the wake up call she had this week and it’s ripples into the lives of those around her, may be much more profound than she realizes.
We who love her will need to take stock of our lives as much as she will hers…and I believe that’s a good thing.
We’re going to be pulled a hundred different directions, feel a hundred different emotions from pure contentment to bitter regret and everything in between. Somewhere in all of that busy hustle, let's remember to put those First Things back to First in our lives.
Faith, Family…. Friendships.
Not complicated, but OH SO Profound.
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