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On purpose

It’s not about you! Those are the first four words from a great book, Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Hmm. When I feel the pain caused by my cancer and the incremental chemo-induced pain & discomfort, I am led to ask, if not me, then who is this all about? I figured it out, but it took a while.


When the bomb dropped, and we learned I had cancer, I was stunned. It was election day, Tuesday, November 3rd, and my fourth day in the hospital. Instantly, my priorities changed. After months of actively following and being consumed by the election, suddenly I was unable to focus on anything but my situation.


Remarkably, in my most intimate thoughts and prayers, I found a strong feeling of gratitude…as if I had just received a gift. As the days passed and we learned more about the severity of my situation, I was overcome with a feeling of acceptance. I knew that this is God’s will. I believe He gave me this on purpose --- and expects me to purposefully use this situation to honor Him. The question I now faced was, how do I do that?


Little by little, it made more sense. I always knew that everyone’s true and complete purpose in life is to know, love, and serve Him. I already had established a daily practice of getting to know and to love Him. My task now, more than ever, is to serve Him. To me, that meant doing what Jesus would do if he were in my shoes (or sandals).


My immediate future would involve chemotherapy and palliative care. Even though the effects of cancer and side-effects of chemo would make the road ahead pretty bumpy, there would be ample time to serve Him by sharing my faith journey on this blog, and by creating “holy moments” by being a better version of myself to everyone whose life I might touch going forward.


Confined to home, I read and write and use some of the few and patchy “good hours” to engage in philanthropic efforts for the Santiago Retreat Center. I’m able to help our diocese by helping this center provide youth and young adults a place where they can escape their fast-paced, high-pressure lives of city living, and receive spiritual nurturing in a beautiful, natural surrounding…away from cell phones, televisions, the internet, and a myriad of life’s other distractions. I am so thankful for this opportunity to serve Him by doing this important work.


Rick Warren opened Purpose Driven Life with a profound conviction. Disney™/Pixar™ closed their most recent film Soul with something just as profound. When given a second chance at living, the main character, Joe, is asked, “What do you think you will do? How will you spend your life?” He responds, “I don’t know…but I do know I am going to live every minute of it.”


What a great combination…to live every minute as a gift; and to live those moments with purpose (and filled with love).

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6 Comments


eversjeanne
Jan 01, 2021

So love reading your blog and gaining a deeper understanding of what it means - what it really looks like - to truly live what you believe. 🌟

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babswip
Jan 01, 2021

Thank you Hank, you have allowed me to meet Jesus on the road of your journey. Prayers to you from a friend of Rosie’s.

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jrlongdon
jrlongdon
Dec 31, 2020

What fabulous insight. Each of us have a path, some more tenuous than others....you will have the strength of knowing our Lord and giving us a glimpse into your experiences. Stay tough, knowing you are loved! Please give Lori and the family our love. Blessings in 2021!


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ruthesuhm
ruthesuhm
Dec 31, 2020

I have come to this blog by way of my dear friend, Jeanne Evers, with whom I met at CSU some 50 years ago. Hank, your words have found a receptive audience in me. Thank you for being a light in dark times. God bless you and grant you healing in body. Your soul seems to be well. May you find joy in each and every day.

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mmpmtr1
Dec 31, 2020

Dearest Hank, you are serving God and giving so much to all of us through all you do. Our increasing prayers are growth spurned by you, your courage, your faith. We pray for you & because of you and Lori, and the family. ❤️


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