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How Lucky We Are

O, to be able to walk without concern, to have good vision, to be able to lift things, to throw a ball, or to traverse stairs

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An occurrence two summers ago awakened me to a profound insight. I’m in the airport in Raleigh, North Carolina minutes away from boarding a flight to New York City.

Hopping down the long airport hallway is a young lady with a deeply pained look on her face. She is on crutches, not the kind you often see for a broken leg, the kind that you use with your wrists. This young lady is missing her right leg, not a little, like above the knee, or halfway above the knee. She is missing ALL of her right leg. She is wearing black tights and, it is apparent, her leg has been severed, right across the top.

There But for the Grace of God…

She is too young to have been in the military. Her left leg is toned, athletic, and shapely. You easily can discern that she was some type of athlete – is some type of athlete: in skiing, soccer, possibly track and field. I’m guessing she’s somewhere between age 18 and 20, perhaps 22 at the most.

She is ‘model’ beautiful, not unlike a young Kim Basinger or Michelle Pfeiffer. The expression on her face tells me that she has not been in this condition long, and has not done a lot of traveling as of late. I sense that this is her first airport trip, alone, since the operation.

While everyone else in the airport ‘manages’ to not notice her, I decide I will look straight at her and smile. As she passes, however, she is forward-focused. She does not see me… or maybe, peripherally she does. Subconsciously, maybe, she receives it – one tiny ray of sunshine in a world of utter despair. While she didn’t appear to notice, I hope perhaps that some minute level of cosmic healing occurred.

The Shock, and the Horror

I surmise that she had bone cancer. I mentally run through what might be the sequence of events: Her leg is very sore, for weeks or perhaps a few months. She and her parents go in for a diagnosis, they’re called back later, and the doctor offers the dreaded diagnosis, she is going to lose her leg. This can’t be accurate. This must be a mistake. Is there no alternative? Finally, she slumps back in her chair, as do her parents, reeling from the shock and the coming horror.

Not only her parents, grandparents, and cousins, but her friends, classmates, teachers, coaches, and anyone in her circle, share in this misfortune. They will know the difference in who she was, her prowess, her silhouette, her very being, before and after. It’s likely that the nature of her relationships with everyone she’s known shifts, subtly or dramatically.

If she’s 22, or less, that likely means 55 years or more of life in this condition. Hereafter, every TV commercial she ever sees about fashions, shaving your legs, hiking, anything that has to do with being bipedal, will be a reminder, as will every time she opens up a woman’s magazine or almost any magazine.

Casual No More

Go on a casual bike ride? No way. Participate in a golf outing? Not a chance. Play miniature golf? Attend dances? Visit the gym? Take a zumba class? Go on a hike? Spend a day at the beach? If she’s going to drive a car, it will require modified rigging. Wherever she lives will have to be carefully configured: The bathtub or shower, everything will have to be logistically correct.

Anytime she buys shoes, it’ll only be to use one shoe. When she buy socks, she gets a two-for-one deal that she’d rather not have. Any pants, shorts, and other clothing all likely will serve as reminders of her condition.

Even if she achieves peace of mind for herself and is mentally and emotionally acclimated to her condition, every time she steps out into the world of 7.7 billion two-legged people, she’ll undoubtedly encounter dozens if not hundreds of others who look away, or look with pity, and don’t know what to say, what to do, or how to respond.

In my 800+ flights, occasionally I’ve seen one-legged military veterans and older people, as you have, with various prosthetics. They are ambulatory, they get around. With the nature of her condition, how are specialists going to fashion any kind of device for her to walk on her own? (Later, I discover that, thankfully, it can be done.)

This particular young lady, being so beautiful, will attract a mate if she doesn’t already have one. Some young man will decide that he will be her life-time champion. She will likely have children and, mercifully, from infancy with their one-legged mom, as they grow-up it will be the family norm.

What about the less attractive one-leggers? Or, young kids who, from an early age, are not able-bodied? What about burn victims… those who underneath it all scream out “see me,” “see the real me,” not just the scar tissue?

The Firefly

At a convention dinner many years ago, a woman sat next to me. She was burned on at least 80% of her body, including all of her face. When she first sat down, I felt a sense of dread. What would I say? Yet, by the end of the meal, I could see her.

She told me her story. She and her fiancé were flying to the Caribbean when their small plane crashed and burst into flames. He died. She lived, but with 80% burns and in rehabilitation for years. I learned that her email address included the word ‘Firefly’ and that today, she is a speaker – a motivational speaker.

…Weeks pass and I recall seeing the young lady in the airport. Does she think back about her earlier life, an existence that will never be the same? Or, more accurately, does she ever not think about it? Going forward, will there be a day in her life when she truly knows peace? At 32, or 42 will conditions be any better for her? Will the world’s fixation on youth and appearance diminish?

When she goes to sleep at night, and lies on that horizontal plane, and finally nods off, does that bring her a sense of peace? Does she dream of running through open meadows or dancing ‘til the wee hours? Even so, she has to arise in the morning, and it all starts again.

This summer, for days on end, after I saw her, I looked at young women and young men everywhere – in shorts, in bathing suits – and thought to myself, you don’t know how lucky you are. Who among us would not be totally humbled? I thought about how lucky I’ve been, and how lucky most of us have been, at least for most of our lives.

Without a Second Thought

O, to be able to walk without concern. To have good vision, to be able to lift things, to throw a ball, to traverse stairs, or to do nearly anything that we seek to do without a second thought. In my entire life, I don’t think I have ever been as mindful as I am right now as to my highly fortunate existence.

In so many respects, we are all lucky.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Faith

Here’s What Life Would Look Like if Revival Broke Out

Imagine churches overflowing with people eager to worship and learn more about God.

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What would life look like for society if God brought revival? Probably something like this:

Imagine a society where every morning begins with families gathered together, reading the Bible and praying for guidance, wisdom, and strength to live according to God’s will. As the sun rises, neighborhoods come alive with the sounds of worship music, and the aroma of shared breakfasts where neighbors regularly meet to encourage one another in their faith and discuss the Scriptures. Schools and workplaces start the day with prayer and a short devotional, setting a tone of humility, gratitude, and purpose for the day ahead.

Imagine a community where businesses operate with integrity and transparency, prioritizing ethical practices over profit. Employers and employees treat each other with respect and kindness, creating a workplace culture that reflects Christ’s love. Decision-making processes are guided by biblical principles, and customer service goes beyond transactions, aiming to serve and bless others. Financial success is seen as an opportunity to give generously and invest in community projects, ensuring that no one goes without their basic needs met.

Imagine a government that seeks to uphold justice and righteousness, drawing from biblical teachings to enact laws that protect the vulnerable and promote the common good. Leaders at every level are chosen for their godly character and wisdom, dedicating their service to God and the people they represent. Public policies are crafted with compassion and a commitment to fairness, addressing issues like poverty, healthcare, and education with a heart for restoration and hope. National days of prayer and fasting bring the country together, uniting citizens in their desire for God’s guidance and blessing.

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Imagine churches overflowing with people eager to worship and learn more about God. Congregations are vibrant and active, with members participating in various ministries and outreach programs, sharing the gospel and meeting the needs of their communities. Sunday services are a time of joyous celebration and deep reflection, and the love among believers is palpable. Discipleship and mentorship flourish, with seasoned Christians guiding new believers in their spiritual growth. The church acts as a refuge and a beacon of hope, drawing people from all walks of life into a transformative relationship with Jesus Christ.

Imagine a culture where the arts, media, and entertainment reflect biblical values and the beauty of God’s creation. Music, films, and literature inspire and uplift, conveying messages of truth, redemption, and love. Social media platforms are used to spread positivity, encouragement, and the gospel, fostering a virtual community of believers who support and pray for each other. Public discourse is marked by grace and respect, even in disagreements, as people strive to see and treat others as image-bearers of God.

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Imagine individuals living with a profound sense of purpose and identity rooted in Christ. Personal relationships are characterized by selflessness, forgiveness, and a genuine desire to honor God in every interaction. Families are strong and united, with parents diligently teaching their children the ways of the Lord and setting an example of faith and obedience. People find joy and fulfillment in serving others, seeing their daily activities—whether mundane or extraordinary—as acts of worship. In this revival of biblical Christianity, life is lived abundantly, to the glory of God, and the love of Christ transforms hearts, homes, and nations.

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Faith

One Chapter In the Bible Explains EVERYTHING

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Does the Bible have anything to explain what is going on in our country right now? You bet it does! PolitiCrossing Founder Chris Widener explains the three things II Thessalonians 2 tells us will happen before the end, and as you will see, it explains EVERYTHING!

1. The Rise of Lawlessness
2. The rise of the Man of Lawlessness
3. A powerful delusion

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