Choose Gratitude –Sing Anyway
“You’ll never be able to walk or talk understandably again.”
When Harborview Hospital’s chief neurosurgeon told me the unacceptable truth I’d insisted on hearing, it was like he pounded nails into my Attitude coffin.
“You’ll never be able to drive again.” The clinical psychologist’s words pounded more nails into my coffin.
Memories of my Christian upbringing, before I turned away in search of instant gratification, told me God was what I needed. God can get us through anything, I’d been taught.
Since my dad finally gave in and let me quit going to church when I was 15, I had happily stayed away for almost four years. Then a pretty girl I’d had a secret crush on for years and I started dating. Both of us came from Christian families and we’d both seen that loving Christian families are happy, safe places, but we’d both turned our backs on God.
When we started dating, we somehow got the idea to start attending church together. Within a few weeks, my motorcycle crash almost killed me, leaving me brain damaged and permanently disabled. This was as hard on Cheryl as it was on me, but I was too wrapped up in my own pain to comfort her.
I lay on the hospital bed remembering my Camaro, my motorcycle, my fiance, my job, my perfect life. Now it was all gone! If God really cared about me why hadn’t he kept that truck from running the stop sign? Why hadn’t he kept me from running into it? Why did he let me live through my crash? I wished I was dead!
Since our vision of the future is limited, living according to our own plan is sometimes an attractive option. The problem with this is that the peace of God is not available unless we’re living according to His plan. The peace of God is available through The ABCs of victorious Christian living:
Accepting God’s plan:
James 1:5 – My brethren, count it full joy when you fall into various temptations. (Like the temptation to deal with depression, resentment, self pity… with various forms of instant gratification.)
Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.
Count it full joy when I run into problems! Huh? What kind of craziness is that? Why would I trust a God, or anybody else, to direct my paths if they want me to find joy in trouble?
Until I accepted God’s plan for my life, and quit wanting to rebuild the life I’d lost, discouragement and hopelessness kept me from putting my best efforts into my various therapies. What was the point? My neurosurgeon and psychologist both said I would never be able to walk, talk understandably or drive again anyway.
I forgot that God’s in control. He knows the end from the beginning. I don’t know what’s going to happen until after it happens. That’s complete lack of control.
Biblical history tells us God created the stars and the planets by speaking them into existence. Rehab experience tells me that we are also creators. We are the creators of our Attitudes. Our Attitudes create our internal realities. To a great extent, our internal realities create our external realities.
Believing God will supply my needs:
Believing God will supply all our needs is easier when we focus on what we have instead of what we don’t have. The key to focusing on what we have is finding someone we can help.
The person I help is Wayne. Wayne had a car crash over two decades ago. Quadriplegic, Wayne can’t talk or swallow. He eats through a tube to his stomach. Pushing Wayne’s wheelchair, exercising with him in the physical therapy room and playing cards with him reminds me of how much I have to be thankful for.
It’s hard for me not to be thankful for my blessings when I’m visiting Wayne. Wayne makes it easy for me to Sing Anyway.
Crucifying selfish desires:
My Sing Anyway talk shares my adventures as I struggled to replace post crash feelings of hopelessness with a grateful will to Sing Anyway.
Keynote and Motivational Speaker Al Foxx provides thoughtful and inspiring messages that include plenty of humor.
Contact him the next time you need a speaker