Friday, April 11, 2014

10 Reasons to Keep on Living ... by Ben Hazlett
Our families have been dealing with a lot of death and trials lately, so I thought of 10 things from my life that help keep things in perspective.

1. Shoes with rubber soles. They are comfy and protect your feet from sharp stuff. Except for nails... One time I was playing on some old wood felt a sharp pain in my foot. I raised it up only to discover that I had succeeded in nailing my foot solidly to a board. 

2. Urgent Care clinics with tetanus shots for when you nail your foot to a board.

3. JB's restaurant where you can go eat after you get done at urgent care, because by now you have one hole in your foot from the nail and one in your arm from the shot... Food always makes things better... Plus there's soft serve ice cream.
4. Ice cream. You use to have to either turn a crank on a barrel for 2 days or eat snow and pretend it was ice cream. Now it comes out of the machine in chocolate, vanilla or swirl! And no one in their right mind ever uses the stupid little ice cream bowls... not when they have those huge soup bowls right next door at the salad bar.

5. Ice cream headaches... Sure, there not great when you have them, but they are fabulous when your sister gets one and you almost forget about the poking you have received while you laugh at her funny tormented faces.

6. Old embarrassingly huge family cars. Driving home from the restaurant I got to sit in the front seat with all the leg room because of the severity of my "injury." I used to hate that big old black car. My friends called it "Ben's hearse." Then I realized that not only was it roomy and comfortable, you could fit at least 15 friends in it with 10 more in the trunk. Plus there were so many dents already that even if you hit a brick wall no one was the wiser.

7. Friends. I had friends help me carry things to classes while I hobbled around for a few days following my harrowing near foot amputation. If you have the privilege of having even one friend in life, it is definitely worth living for.

8. School. Even with major set backs like puncturing my foot, teachers and l coaches didn't go easy on me and though I hated all the homework and challenging assignments to catch up on, I wouldn't have a master's degree and a great job without all of those great people along the way. Even a just a few hundred years ago most people with 2 good feet couldn't go to school... They had to toil in little hovels, raising pigs and deciding if they should eat their pigs or their children that day.

9. Children. I have never contemplated eating them but... selling them though... I'm not going to comment on that. Really though, nothing in life is a better reason for living than your kids. All it takes is a hug from my little girl or my son calling every 2 minutes after 5pm to see when I will be home from work. Now I'm just waiting for the day when my son nails a board to his foot... But if I had never done it I wouldn't know how to help my son through it. Good thing that there's an urgent care and a JB's with in 2 miles of our house.  Maybe I'll look for some bulletproof shoes on eBay.

10. Family. No matter how many wounds you get in life family can get you through it. At the time I was embarrassed and annoyed that we all had to parade into the doctor's office, now the horribly traumatic experience is actually a pleasant memory tied to loved ones.  It's funny how that happens with family.  You spend your childhood torturing your sisters barbie dolls and then they actually like you as an adult.  What's worse is that you actually like them back. Even in death family often continue to bless our lives.  The lessons and example my dad left with me, or the talents and zest for life Mary's mom left her just as 2 examples.

Christus Statue
So as Emerson put it "What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you." Even with a nail in your foot, life is totally worth living!  This Easter season, it's important to remember the one who had much larger nails driven into his hands and feet and in his agony of both physical pain and the weight of the sins of mankind, he took time to care for his mother, forgive thieves, and ask His Father to forgive the very people who put him on the cross.  My tiny nail and in fact all of my trials together pale in comparison.  And yet, He offers to take those pains away and guide us through the trials of life. And that is the best reason of all for living!