I’ve been getting robo-calls from hospice.
My doctor apparently gave them my number.
“How are you feeling today, Mr. Hague?”
“Not dead,” is my snarky reply. “Quit calling me.”
“Your doctor asked us to check in on you.”
“As soon as I die, I’ll call you back,” I reply.
Digging into this a little further, apparently my local doctor recently told my wife he thought I had 3-4 weeks left to live.
Of course, this is also the same doctor who said I should have died a year and a half ago.
I keep missing these death deadlines.
My physician redeemed himself at the end of the conversation by noting that, “I was a fighter,” so all bets regarding my longevity are apparently still off.
[Note: I have the utmost respect for hospice and the work they do. I also understand it’s better if I call them before I die.]
How do you fight well when your life is under siege?
Here are some thoughts from a guy who is fighting to live well so that he doesn’t die before he’s dead:
Determine who you are going to be in this world.
I loved this story I read recently at www.momastery.com:
“When Chase was eight, a woman approached us at the grocery store and said, “What a handsome boy! What do you plan to be when you grow up, young man?” Chase looked at her and said, “I plan to be kind and brave, ma’am.”
Eight years old and this boy is planning to be a man who is kind and brave in this world.
This makes me weep.
You see, it’s not so much what we do in this world, it’s who we are intent upon being that matters.
What does this world need for you to be in it?
Give yourself to that, with a determination that is quietly relentless.
For me, it is to be a good man in the most dangerous sense of the word.
I want you to know from my life that everything is ultimately going to be all right.
Until it is, I want you to know that you are deeply loved.
That’s why I’m still around.
I want you to know these things in the depths of your heart and experience them as your reality.
Embrace the sufficiency of Christ for the struggles of life.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart!
I have overcome the world.”
Many of you seem to think that I am a special breed.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
When your battle comes, cry out to Christ like I have been learning to do.
He will be sufficient for you, as He has been for me.
You will be strengthened and equipped in ways that will amaze you.
His grace will cover you in your weakness.
He will love you too much to allow you to play the victim and waste your sorrows.
Victims have no strength to live from and no purpose to live for.
Growing up, I kept my head down and lived in fear.
I fought for nothing except my own self-preservation.
Keeping people happy was my goal; failing to do so was my terror.
Then I discovered the world needed my determined love and that I had the courage to give it to it through Christ.
I could even do so in the midst of the greatest battle of my life.
In my weakness, I had been made strong.
“Courage is not simply one of the virtues
but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”
Never give up.
I know it sounds trite, but in my heart it is inviolable commitment.
Take the resources of your inner character that you have been developing, the sufficiency of Christ for the struggles of your life, and add, in the midst of your battles, a resolute determination to be the last person standing.
Stir thoroughly, bake on high (for a lifetime), and you’ll have a fighting heart that will serve you well as you seek to love well in this world.
Thomas Edison is one of my heroes.
In inventing the light bulb, he tried over 6,000 different carbonized plant fibers until he found the correct one for the application.
While working on the nickel/iron storage battery, he performed 10,296 experiments.
He was a genius, but more importantly, he just flat out wouldn’t give up.
I want to be that kind of tenacious, non-stoppable man.
“The true measure of a man is not in what he accomplishes,
but in what it takes to stop him.”
A word about “victory.”
It’s not uncommon to hear, “Sam, after a long struggle with cancer, lost his battle today . . . .”
But I won’t lose this battle by dying.
I will win it by fighting well and living well until the day God calls me home to be with Him for eternity.
Whatever your battles in this life, you can do the same.
How wonderful is this open, hungry, messy, loving community who have gathered here together to help each other do just that.
I am deeply privileged to speak encouragement into your hearts today.
© Ed Hague. All rights reserved.