The Seed of Hope

A gift for tomorrow

Viewing by month: December 2008

Being Mad at God

I just sent an e-mail to Jim Elliott, an old friend that is currently receiving chemotherapy treatments for ‘appendiceal adenocarcinoma cancer’ which involves, you guessed it; the appendix. This type of cancer is so rare that oncologists aren’t really sure as to the best methods of treatment. Surgery to remove the tumor was ruled out, and it was agreed that chemo was that best plan of action.

 

Jim decided to share his journey with others through CaringBridge, a website designed for doing just that. Jim has a journal in which he can make daily entries detailing his ‘walk’ in fighting this dreaded disease, sharing his thoughts with his family and friends. I have found his willingness to tell his story quite remarkable, and I have conveyed to him that his courage will be a beacon of light for others to follow.

 

Jim’s most recent post contained the great news that the cancer cells were responding to chemo! He also shared some thoughts about God, his family, friends, and the support that he has received through CaringBridge. And then, almost as an afterthought, Jim added that he was still ‘pissed off’ about the cancer.

 

You know, I don’t blame Jim one bit for being angry that he has cancer! I mean, who wouldn’t be upset about be diagnosed with the ‘Big C’? My question for Jim was this: “Are you mad at God for letting you get cancer, or are you just mad that getting cancer was ‘the hand that was dealt’ to you?”

 

I think that it’s okay to tell God about the way you feel. But there’s a fine line between being mad about what He gives you in life, and being mad at Him for it. You don’t want to cross that line, at least not for any length of time.

 

I offered a post to you on November 14th titled My Walk in Life, in which I briefly mentioned redefining our relationships with God. I’d like to take the ‘religious’ aspect of those relationships and put it on the shelf for a minute. You see, among all that God is to and for me, He is my friend. The last statement deserves more attention than I’m going to give it right now; it will be a topic for another day.

 

I want to take a moment to talk about friends, and I’m going to use my relationship with my wife Jackie as an example. I’ve told you before that Jackie is my best friend, which is remarkable considering the fact that we’ve worked together for the past 19 years! Be that as it may, there have been those rare occasions when she’s done something that has ‘pissed me off’! Of course, I’ve never done anything that would make her mad at me. J

 

This anger has always been short-lived, not only because we love each other, but because we are friends. If you have a true friend, or if you are a true friend, you know that friendship involves acceptance and forgiveness. God has forgiven me so many times for transgressions that I’ve committed against Him. How can I not possibly accept the hardships that He has seen fit to give me along the way?

 

There have been times in my life when, fit to be tied (really mad), I’ve looked up to the heavens and said “Look God, I don’t question why you’ve given me this cross to bear. I know that everything You give me, good or bad, is for a reason. I’m not going to ask You to take this cross off my shoulders. I only ask You to give me the strength to carry this burden, and I’ll do it gladly. But I want You to know, just for the record, that I’m not happy about it.”

 

Here’s the thing: God has always blessed me with the strength to get through the trials and tribulations that He has given me in life. Always. I think this may be in part due to the fact that I ask Him for it. I believe, if you will only ask, that He will do the same for you.

 

He has never let me down.

 

contact me: sam@theseedofhope.com

 

If you’d like to visit Jim’s page, use the link below. I’m sure that he’d love the hearing from you.

 

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jimelliott

 

 

 

 

Posted by Sam Maniscalco on 12/08/2008 at 6:40 AM | Categories: Faith -

...about being Awesome

If you know me personally, or if you’ve visited these pages enough, you probably know that whenever questioned as to how I’m doing, my usual reply is “I’m awesome!” Not ‘good’, or ‘great’, or ‘fantastic’, but Awesome.

 

I was talking to my good friend Dan the other day about business and life in general, when he asked “Sam, are you really awesome every day?”

 

No one had posed that question to me before. I had to think about it for a moment before I could answer. Am I awesome every day? And then I thought “I wonder how many of the people I see on a regular basis are afraid to ask the same question?” I mean, how can someone be that good every day?

 

I’m going to tell you exactly what I told Dan:

 

I’m a husband, father, son, grandfather, mentor, and business owner. I have this burning desire to help others, whenever and where ever I can. I am a human being. There are mornings when I awake and know before the cobwebs of sleep have cleared that I am not awesome! In fact, some of those days the mere notion of being anywhere near awesome seems to be light-years away.

 

So am I lying when I answer the question? No, I’m not. Here’s what happens:

 

Every morning, the moment I awaken from sleep, I thank God for giving me another day. Next I express gratitude for certain things in my life (we’ll talk more about this some other time). The last thing I do, just before my feet touch the floor, is mentally proclaim “Today is going to be an awesome day.” And I say it with conviction, with the certainty that the day will be exactly that.

 

You know what?  At some point in my day (usually when I’m talking to someone about my faith), awesome catches up with me! The first few times it happened I was taken by surprise! Now I just grin and mentally say “Where have you been? I’ve been waiting for you!” I can’t honestly say that this happens every day; let’s just say that the days it doesn’t happen are few and far between.

 

I am awesome every day because I refuse to accept anything less in life, as I had done for so many years. In my mind there is no room for negative thoughts, as they only pave the way for taking a step backwards.

 

Look, I know that some of you are shaking your heads in disbelief right now. Believe me; I can understand your skepticism. You see, I haven’t always been the ‘eternal optimist’. There have been days when I was so low that I had to ‘look up to see the bottom’. Not anymore; things have changed. My outlook on life has changed. My life has changed!

 

One of the purposes of this site is to plant the seed in your mind  that nothing is impossible; your life can change too, if you want it enough. Awesome can visit you everyday, but only if you expect it.

 

Tomorrow morning, just before you get out of bed, tell yourself that “Today is going to be an awesome day.” You may not really believe it, but that’s okay; you’re planting a seed in your mind, and that seed has to germinate before it can grow. At least entertain the notion that you could have an awesome day.

 

Make a vow to yourself to repeat this every day for the next few weeks. Come on; how much effort does it take to think “Today is going to be an awesome day!”? Every day. What have you got to lose?

 

What if you were ‘only’ good, or great, or fantastic? Any day. Every day. Would you ‘settle’ for that? Thought so!

 

 

sam@theseedofhope.com

 

 

 

Posted by Sam Maniscalco on 12/01/2008 at 8:36 AM | Categories: Life -

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