Pine Nuts and Coasters

Life is so Great! and the thing is when you live it consciously it becomes even more evident. I have mentioned The Success Principles in one of my “Gotta Reads” Blog post earlier this year and I have recently started reading it again. One thing I am doing this time is making sure to follow through with every exercise. There’s a statement that is mentioned in the Book: “I have a feeling the world is plotting to do me good today. I can’t wait to see what it is.” Jack Canfield calls for the reader to commit this to memory and place it in various places where it can be seen through out the day. Giving this a try during the past week really exposed how much fulfillment and benefit can be seen in the simple things. My progress towards my goals thus far this year has been a sometimes slow but always constant work. Although, I am much more focused than I have been in years past, things aren’t always moving as steady as I would like. Nevertheless, I continue to just try and make sure that no matter how slow or how far, the movement is forward. Last week started somewhat uneventful but good. I began to really start seeing some mental breakthroughs that really kind of got me excited. One thing I am starting to take notice of is the fact that we have to remember to remain spiritually grounded and know that in whatever we are going through or feeling “This too shall pass” whether you are having the worst day ever or the best day ever things will change. Last Wednesday was pretty much like any other Wed. I went to work had a pretty productive day made a quick trip home and was back out the door for Bible Study I was particularly enthusiastic about getting there because we have just begun a practical study on personal finance and how it relates to our spiritual walk. I got to the church had dinner and took care of a couple of things and as I was beginning to do a little reading before study began. A wonderful church member who (in line with our previous and current studies on Healthy Living) brought and offered pine nuts for everyone to try. I being an absolute Food Lover took a small handful and gave them a try for the first time. I start with about three or four and upon realizing they were absolutely delicious, I went ahead and finished them off. Just as soon as I swallowed them I knew I made a huge mistake. My tongue began to swell and my throat began to hurt and swell. The weirdest part about it was the fact that my voice even began to change. It was like the opposite of the effect of inhaling helium. We began to look for Benadryl. None could be found and in hindsight the fact that there wasn’t any around probably worked out for the better because I would have surely tried to take the Benadryl and avoid a trip to the emergency room. I jump in my Sister’s car and we quickly head to the emergency room. Our church is located in the Southside area of Birmingham so we were just minutes from the emergency room. Just as soon as I got inside the emergency room triage area (after standing in line to empty my pockets and go through metal detectors) I answered a few questions and they quickly took me back and got me in a room. By this time I am really starting to get worried although I was now in the best place I could be I was beginning to feel more and more horrible by the second a couple of Doctors came in and came to the consensus I was having what is called an anaphylactic episode and immediately had me hooked to IVs and given a dose of epinephrine. From what they were saying I was thinking that the effects of the dose would be noticed pretty quickly but as far as I could tell nothing was really happening. So this is when I really started to run all kinds of scenarios inside my head (many of them probably being way overboard). “There’s no phone service in here,” My wife is probably going crazy right now,” “I have both sets of car keys with me,” ” Is this how it’s going to end for me? with a handful of delicious pine nuts at Bible Study,” “I won’t get to see my wife or kids before I go,” . And the list goes on and on. After about twenty minutes or so the Doctors decided I would need another dose of epinephrine and that one began to do the trick and within 30 minutes or so I began to start to feel better. I must tell you, I have never scratched and itched so bad in my life. My nose stopped up. I mean it was miserable. There’s nothing like knowing something you ate is causing your body to react in a very bad way and there’s nothing you can do because it has already been eaten. I knew I had gotten over the biggest hurdle, and that I was going to be OK when a nice young lady came back to get my insurance information and emergency room copay. I began to hear the talk of possibly having to stay overnight for observation. I wanted to avoid a hospital stay at all costs and was so relieved when the Doctor told me that if I could just remain for observation for at least four hours after the second dose I would be discharged. That was music to my ears. As much as we as parents sometimes wish to take a break we do like to take that break on our terms and the thought of not seeing my family because I’m lying in a hospital bed is something that’s not fun to do at all. It can bring a grown man to tears. By this time its late and it’s just me and my father sitting enjoying conversation waiting on the four hours of observation to pass. It is then that I realize that in the end there is very little we really control. I’ve had some serious situations occur due to my own bad decisions and this one was one of the few that have happened due to life just happening. In a world outside of heaven everything isn’t going to go good all the time in fact there are going to be things that are meant for your bad brought on by spiritual forces but still involving the reaping of earthly consequences. But we have to remember that God causes all things to work together for the good of those that Love him. I could very easily have eaten my first handful of pine nuts out in the woods nowhere near a hospital or an epipen. This  brings me back to the quote I was discussing earlier. “I Believe the World is plotting to do me good today and I can’t wait to see what it is.” I choose to believe what happened Wed was a plot for me to get crucial knowledge that I desperately needed based on my current goals and the days following brought it more and more full circle for me. After getting home from the hospital early  Thursday morning I slept well and headed in for work (a little late) and got right back to living. Thursday was great and I was going to try and make sure to get a little extra done to make sure to let life know I’m pumped about living it to the fullest. But my wife gave me a call as I was leaving work to let me know that she’s pumped about me sitting myself down and getting some rest and it wasn’t optional. It’s good to have someone that cares enough to do that from time to time. Friday I went on a Field Trip to Six Flags with my son David. Going in, I was really was wondering if I could even handle the thrill of a roller coaster anymore. I know, it’s a shame, at the age of 34 I was already ready to deprive myself of that kind of fun. As I watched my son and his friends without the slightest apprehension jump in line I began to think about how I was at that age. I couldn’t help but wonder how much courage and ability to just let go and have good fun can be lost as we slave away in our day to day living. All of the careful analysis and needless worry little by little reduces many to being nothing more than human like robots doing everything we think we are supposed to do as careful as we can and as comfortable as we can. Doing anything that poses any kind of risk or that’s anywhere out of the norm becomes almost impossible. We just trudge along hoping some kind of special circumstance is going to drop down  and bring us every joyful moment we desire. This moment caused the drive for me to recapture who I am and who I want to be to become even stronger. I couldn’t let David see me ride all the way to Six Flags and not get on one coaster so I got over the apprehension and I got on the first one and I haven’t felt that good and had that kind of fun in a long time. I survived (I really didn’t think I would). I know it may seem pretty corny to some but for me it was a breakthrough. It ended up being a wonderful day and the beginning of a great weekend. When we got back home I just sat and thought about what had taken place earlier in the week, and how I was so blessed things didn’t turn out as bad as they could have and I was just extremely grateful and excited about making a commitment to getting back to that youthful confidence. The type of mindset that says anything I want to do, I can, no matter how hard. Realizing that as long as I’m breathing I have life to live and I should never take that for granted by being fearful and boxed in. To top it all off, as I sat on the back of my trunk in the backyard my name was called with a Bang! and I realized I had the perfect seat to a fireworks show.   DaddyBe

“I believe the world is plotting to do me good today. I can’t wait to see what it is.”

Jack Canfield

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