“In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.” — Genesis 1:1
Here we are with the New Year and everyone has already made out their New Year’s resolutions and this time we are swearing by whatever means that we are going to change all those things that are wrong with ourselves. This year we are going to stop smoking, lose weight, stop drinking, change our attitudes, and finish all those projects we started last year or the year before.
This year my New Year’s resolution include things like exercising more, eating right, and losing weight, especially because I got for Christmas, the Tower 200 (which I can hangs on my door), shadow boxing special belt, a step, and a pair of skechers shape up shoes (which apparently are so good that all I have to do is put them on and I lose weight!!). And more than likely I will do like most people do with all these things for maybe a month or two or three and stick with them but finally I’ll say, “I start tomorrow,” and then procrastinate and procrastinate and procrastinate.
One of my resolutions this year is to finish my bio and write a book drawing from this journal. Every year I say the same thing and every year I start well but I don’t get very far. This year I have more inspiration than ever to write. I had written an email thanking Philip Yancey for all his writing during the years that have inspired me before and after receiving the news about HD. I knew the chances for him to respond were very slim because writers have people who screen their emails and letters so that their time can be managed well. But lo and behold I opened my email and found this:
“Your letter was a “grace note” of encouragement to me. We writers work in isolation, with little idea of the impact of our work. Responses like yours keep me going, and I thank you for taking the time and effort to write me. I know some friends with Huntington’s Disease, and know the challenge you face. May God give you the grace to do so, even as you continue to minister to others in the hospice. My wife Janet worked as a hospice chaplain, and I have the utmost respect for what you’re doing. Your words of encouragement move me deeply. Your ideas for a book sound great. I don’t pretend to guess what may interest publishers, but I would recommend… For a small fee they analyze the publishability of a manuscript. Some of these services are scams; this one is excellent. I hope one day we both see your book in print.” — Philip Yancey
I couldn’t believe what I was reading!! Philip Yancey one of the greatest Christian writers of our time, took the time to thank me for my words of encouragement and share his hope that he would like to see my book in print!!! I looked and looked again to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I pinched myself, slapped myself. Yeah, I am awake and yes, this is the real deal. Even though I should be always be looking toward Heaven for all my inspiration and encouragement, God uses others to minister and encourage us.
I was beginning to wonder whether this project of my book was going anywhere, especially with an extremely heavy case load of patients at work. VITAS is a great company to work for but the paperwork is a nightmare and can keep me up till the wee hours of the night. But that is just how the devil works: as long as he keeps us busy doing busywork even though it may be good things, he has accomplished his goal.
Well, why did I chose this passage for the New Year and does it have any relevance with my journey with HD? Does it matter what I believe concerning creation when it comes to my inherited gene from my dad?
I like the way Randy Alcorn presents the stories and how they relate to us personally today:
“(I am) a descendant of a tiny cell of primordial protoplasm washed up on an empty beach three and half billion years ago and the blind and arbitrary product of time, chance, and natural forces. And a mere grab bag of atomic particles, a conglomeration of genetic substance. And (I) exist on a tiny planet in a minute solar system in an empty corner of a meaningless universe, and a purely biological entity, different only in degree but not in kind from microbe, virus, or amoeba. And have no essence beyond (my) body, and at death (I) will cease to exist entirely. In short, (I) came from nothing and am going nowhere.”
“(I am) the special creation of a good and all-powerful God. I am created in His image, with capacities to think, feel and worship that set me above all other life forms. I differ from the animals not simply in degree but in kind. Not only in my kind unique, but I am unique among my kind. My Creator loves me so much and so intensely desires my companionship and affection that He has a perfect plan for my life. In addition, God has gave me His only Son that I might spend eternity with Him. If I am willing to accept the gift of salvation, I can become a child of God.”
Which one of these stories of origins is more encouraging and hopeful to me in my journey with HD? Does the first story give me any hope that I am loved and that my life has a purpose? NO!! Does the second story encourage me and give hope as well as show me that Someone very special loves me and cares for me and wants me to know that my life has purpose and meaning, even with HD? Yes!!!
Which story do you prefer?
“Father in Heaven, Thank for this New Year that You have given to me. Help me to share with others the Good News of Jesus Christ. Please give me a blessed year, filled with faith, hope and love. Continue to use me to minister to my family, friends and hospice patients. Help me to start, and finish my bio so that others may encouraged and inspired by my story so that Your name will be honored.”