Wednesday, March 18, 2015
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon.” ― Charles M. Schulz
About seven years ago, I had an accident that I thought only happened in cartoons. I slipped on a banana peel on the floor of my house and fell into the hardwood arm of a chair, injuring my groin. I didn’t think too much of it after the immediate pain passed. Several days later, I came down with a bad case of malaria while Karen and John were in Dar Es Salaam visiting missionary friends there. Shaban drove me to the Hindu Hospital in Mwanza for an injection since the malaria was so bad. The doctor giving me the injection saw my injured groin and said I had to go immediately to Bugando Hospital there in Mwanza. He gave me the injection, and we went to the hospital with one of his nurses (a very kind young women who later died of AIDS) and she got me into see a doctor who said he had to operate almost immediately. The operation took place four hours later, and I became a man with just one of what most men have two of. The doctor told me that if I had waited just another twelve hours, I would have been dead. Seven years later, I stopped and thought about what if I had died then. I would have never known of, seen, held or loved my three grandchildren for one thing. Then I thought about what all we had done here at the mission in those seven years, what the changes had been in the church, in my own family, the new churches that wouldn’t have been, the now nine preschools that would never have been started, the orphans that wouldn’t have been educated or fed, the biosand filters (almost 300 of them) that wouldn’t have brought clean, safe drinking water to almost 9,000 people—well, you get the idea. Those seven years have been a true blessing, not that the time was a “happily ever after” time because I had prostate surgery, malaria, two skin cancer operations, and other problems, but those all fade in comparison to the good that has occurred. I was talking to my friend, Pete O’Neal, about the orphanage he started at his place seven years ago, and he said his life would have been almost completely without meaning had that orphanage never happened, and he was 67 years old when it began. There is just no point in time when we can say that we are done with our labors because we have no idea what God has in store for us. We plan—He laughs. I slipped on a banana peel, had great pain, emergency surgery, and good things in His plan happened later. Our job is to stay open to the opportunities He sends us and never to stop and think we have done all we could, no matter our age, our physical limitations, or our financial situation. God knows what needs to be done and our role in it. The words are “Thy will be done” and not “my will be done.” Amen.