July 8 2010
When was a teenager I was captured by a love for mechanical things. Like most teens , I longed to be able to drive my own vehicle. There were far more teenagers in those days who did not have a license or a car,so if you were among the privileged few you were noticed by your peers!
At age 15 I traded off a guitar and purchased my first auto. It was a 1959 Volkswagen. I had a little money saved too, so I was actually able to get the thing running. I learned how to drive by sneaking around the back trails and paths that surrounded Glenwood. That thing was better than any quad!
I finished high school in 1976 at age 16,and had no hesitation as to what I wanted to do. I signed up for ``Trade School`` and took the course known as Motor Vehicle Repair.
Ralph Miller, soon to become friend and mentor, was my shop instructor .It was from Ralph that I first learned how important carburetors mixtures and adjustments were for the overall economy,efficiency and satisfaction one hoped to experience from an automobile.
You simply have to have the proper mixture of ingredients,and the right balance in the right amount to make things run smoothly.
The same is true for everyday life!
Over the years as a minister,I have used certain phrases over and over because I believe them to be very effective in conversation. One phrase that I use came to me from a patient I met when I was doing my pastoral training. He said to me "Your world gets pretty small in the moment you receive the news and hear the word Cancer."
I woke this morning,around 5:30 a.m. feeling the effects of my chemotherapy.
Even though his is my second treatment and I have a far better idea of what to expect,the changes in my life have been hitting like a ton of bricks.
The words that came to my mind were the ones I have chosen as a theme for my writing today..Life is indeed a series of Mixtures and Adjustments.,and I sure need some Carburetor work right now!
Some of the adjustments are being forced on me by this illness, some I must choose to make,and still others are God inspired and administered through His Spirit,and all of the people who are reaching out to us right now.
My final decision to write this blog came from my wife Karen's inspiration.She had the insight to see that writing would help me cope ,fulfil my desire to see the Church blessed through my Illness and provide honest ,open information to those who want to follow along.
Through it I am able to share the journey with you, and I thank you for being here.
There is something else too!
This is not Just about Revd. John having cancer. I believe that we all need to stop from time to time and let God have a major word about what is going on in our lives.
When I awoke with this theme "Mixtures and Adjustments" on my mind, I realized that this blog has the potential to bless people on totally different avenues of life where they too have found for various reasons , the path dark,lonely and devastating. There are sightings of Grace where ever you go friend, Everywhere.
So it is then that I commit my self to sharing with you,in the hope and knowledge that the ties that bind us together will open up doors of healing love for us all.
I welcome your stories and emails,and the way people have been opening their hearts to me as of late.
There is one more thing to remember ....
I am Not Superman! I .... have been afraid and anxious . I have worried about what happens next. We have been shedding some tears.
Cancer tells you that you are mortal -You have a fight on your hands.
Faith is telling me that I have a friend and a guide through all the new relationships and realities that are part of my " daily Life." My eyes and heart are opened to new possibilities,and I am rather excited about seeing God's will fulfilled in all of this.
I was a pretty good carburetor man in my time. I always had the knack of finding that spot where there was no hesitation between a smooth idle and a full bore acceleration.
Now I am asking for more grace as I continue to be a student of our Lord's perfect will. With God`s grace I am still learning to be a good adjuster of what life throws at me,my family,and the Church that he has caused me to love so much.
This seems a good time to quote the serenity prayer which has been adapted by so many,for many different reasons.
God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference. Through Jesus Christ our Lord,