I’m perpetually waiting for my diagnosis. I’ve planned my own funeral in my mind dozens of times, and I’ve thought of how sad John will be. And how he’ll never re-marry. Ever. (Focus on the kids babe, geez).
My father had cancer, both his parents died of it, his sister had it. He once told me he couldn’t remember any of his aunts and uncles not dying of cancer. My mom had breast and ovarian cancer. I guess it’s not surprising that I can be a little paranoid.
A rash is skin cancer. Bruises can only mean one thing — lymphoma. A headache, depending on the severity, is either a tumor or an aneurysm. Not always, but enough so that it’s become a bit of a joke.
It’s not limited to “The Big C” though, lest other ailments and maladies feel they’ve avoided my neuroses. I made the mistake recently of watching “Monsters Inside Me,” a show on Animal Planet that profiles people who have had obscure parasite infections. Now, when my eyes are tired, I worry there might be a giant worm inside my eyeball. Google it. It’s a thing.
I say all of that because I know it’s ridiculous, and most of the time I’m overly-dramatic because it’s funny. However, waiting for a huge disappointment, something bad to happen, a terminal illness to be diagnosed, or a tragedy to occur is not a good way to live.
It’s not healthy.
I have a friend who was driving with their spouse and child when they were struck head-on by a drunk driver traveling at a very high rate of speed. The accident was nearly-fatal for the small family. Miraculously, they survived. Less than two years later, while bicycling, that same friend’s spouse was struck by a car and killed.
It’s hard enough for us to wrap our minds around something like that, let alone plan for it.
So, how do we process the barrage of “what if’s”?
Isaiah 55:8 comes to mind.
The New International Version says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
I love how The Message puts it: “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
What do I think about that truth? Thank. You. Jesus. That’s what I think.
Let’s just consider for a moment what would go through Jesus’ mind if my thoughts were His thoughts…
“I want an almond croissant.”
“Why is curling even in the Olympics?”
“Why does everyone hate Shia LeBeouf so much?”
Clearly not the thoughts of the Savior of the world.
So how do we stop expecting the worst, planning for the tragic and waiting for the negative, and instead focus on what’s right in front of us, right now?
Isaiah 26:3 (It’s OT day on the blog, yo!):
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose eyes are fixed on you! (New Living Translation)
Good advice, for those of us who may find ourselves waiting for the other shoe to drop.