I was out of town to attend a great seminar. The seminar actually began at 9:00 AM. I left the hotel much earlier that morning en-route to a nearby Starbucks. I got a tall coffee, a slice of zucchini walnut loaf, a newspaper, and then sat down at a table by the window. I sipped the hot coffee, nibbled on the loaf and skimmed through the newspaper. Finally, I put the newspaper aside and began reading Scot McKnight’s new book Praying With the Church. After reading a chapter, I wrote in my journal. As I was getting into the car to make my way downtown, I said to myself aloud, "This is great!" I felt good–really good. It had to do with what had just occurred at Starbucks. I felt as if I was ready to start the day.
On the other hand, there have been times when I began the day by getting overly focused on a couple of negative "circumstances" in my life.
- Too focused on some things I can’t change.
- Too focused on what discourages me.
- Too focused on what saps my energy.
I don’t have to tell you, when I begin a day like this, I don’t feel good–at all. In fact, I feel off center and out of balance. Instead of focusing on God as the source of all I need, I allow myself to begin the day by focusing on negative and draining circumstances.
That morning at Starbucks, I came across the following story in that newspaper. I read the story and then read it again. And–I told this story last Sunday morning at the end of the message. Now this is a girl who knew how to focus:
Kati Fisher was 11 years old when someone from the Make-A-Wish Foundation approached her. She was battling Leukemia and they asked what wish she would like to see come true. Katie lived in Annapolis, Maryland. She at first said to give it to someone else. Then she said she would like to go to the Rockâ€™nâ€™Roll Marathon in San Diego. She wanted to help a team from her area who planned to run in that race to spotlight those who were battling with leukemia. She want to the race and returned home, wanting to encourage these runners from her area.
These runners said that Katie would show up at their practice runs giving them Gatorade and offering them cookies to take home. One runner, Amy Cruice, told of not wanting to run one particular morning. Before she began her practice run, she took some Gatorade from Katie (who by now only weighed 50 lbs.). She ran for little while and then stopped, frustrated, not wanting to do her practice run that day. She said that when she turned around to go back toward her car, she couldnâ€™t believe what she saw. Katie was on the ground, so weak she was crawling to her car.
She was asked once about what she hated most about having leukemia. She said, â€œTo see another kid get a treatment. I canâ€™t stand to see someone else go through these things.â€
Katie died at 14 years of age on March 31, 2004.
Last Sunday, two years later, her father Rick ran in the 2006 Rock’n’Roll Marathon (San Diego) in her honor. He said regarding his daughter. â€œShe loved life rather than hating the circumstance.â€
What was that?
She loved life rather than hating the circumstance.
I want to learn to love God, the source of all life, rather than hate the negative circumstances which just drain me and sap me of energy.
Now, that might be worth remembering.