Sunday, October 16, 2011

What a View

While we were on our vacation in Hawaii, we visited the island of Kauai. One of the must-sees on the island is Waimea Canyon. This canyon has been called the Grand Canyon of Hawaii.

There are two routes to drive up Waimea Canyon. One way is more scenic than the other. Of course, the reason it is more scenic is because it starts at sea level and climbs to over 5000 feet and skirts the canyon rim. DeLayne has never done well on these kinds of roads, but she wanted to take the scenic route anyway. The road is a narrow, two-lane road that twists and turns its way up the mountain. There are steep climbs followed by rapid descents, blind corners followed by hairpin turns. She white knuckled her way all the way up, and I am sure that she left finger impressions in the armrest and dash board. She held my water bottle some of the time, and when we got out of the car, I discovered that it was crushed from her squeezing it too hard. We are still unsure if the drive is really all that scenic; DeLayne would not look, and I was not allowed to look after being admonished multiple times to just watch the road.

After enduring all of the ups and down, twists and turns, we reached the end of the canyon road. We had to climb a few stairs but were finally treated to this view of God's handiwork.

All of this makes me realize that someday we will come to the end of the road on this journey. We will look back down the road we have been on and see all of the steep climbs, rapid descents, blind corners and hairpin turns, and see all that God has done and His handiwork in our lives. And we will say, "What a view!"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I seriously want a do-over for the month of September. It has just been one thing after another. I do not ever remember continually hurting myself so much in one month.

The month started with me accidentally kicking a chair in the kitchen. My little toe, that I rarely pay much attention to, made a ninety-degree right turn and a really nasty sound. I was amazed at the pain such a little digit can generate. Two days later, all of my toes on my right foot had turned black and blue from the injury, and it hurt to put any kind of shoe on.

Two weeks later, I was still slightly hobbled, when we went to Hawaii. While out doing some site seeing at a waterfall, I was enjoying the scenery as we were walking along the sidewalk. The sidewalk made a slight turn to the left and my right foot landed half on and half off the sidewalk. In the blink of an eye, my ankle rolled and I was on the ground. Thankfully, only my pride was injured and only DeLayne saw this demonstration of gracefulness.

Two nights later after getting up and doing what old guys have to do in the middle of the night, I was headed back to bed. In the dark I managed to catch my little toe on the nightstand and was instantly reminded of its presence. The next day, I was thankful for the wonderful invention known as flip-flops.

Two days later, our vacation over, we loaded up and headed back to the airport. After dropping our bags at TSA, I felt a slight twinge in my back. After we made sure we had everything and were ready to go through security, I picked up my camera backpack and slung it over my shoulder. I would swear that someone shoved a knife in my back. By the time we got home, it hurt to lie down, stand up, sit down, or just breathe.

The next week we repacked and headed to Houston for my checkup at MDA. The CT scan found a slight inflammation in my left lung. On Thursday, the doctor asked if I had been sick lately or coughing more. I told him, "No, not really," and he said that he did not think that it was any more than an infection and prescribed a round of antibiotics for me. I am willing to bet that he does not know he can tell the future. By Friday afternoon I was beginning to get a scratchy throat and starting to cough.

The weekend found me coughing and sneezing with a head and chest cold. Each time I sneezed, I felt my back hurt a little more. By the time Sunday morning arrived, I was absolutely miserable and about all I could do was sit in the recliner.

During times like these, I begin to reflect and start asking God questions. "What is the purpose of all of this?" "What is the purpose for me having cancer?" These questions come out of frustration, and I honestly do not expect to get an answer. But suddenly, there it was. I was surprised at how simple of an answer it was. I really thought that if I was going to get an answer, it would be something really deep and astounding, but it wasn't. Six simple words flashed through my head and that was it.

So that God will be glorified.

I'll pass on the do-over.