Where has the year gone? Actually, where have the last 57 years gone?
Over the last few weeks, I have been feeling some chest pressure and pain in my jaw. Because of my family history, I thought it best to visit my family doctor. He administered an EKG, which he said, “Shows a slight abnormality.” (Abnormal? Slight?) The Doc then sent me to a specialist on Wednesday and a stress test. I surpassed all the expectations for my age, which is good, but also felt a little chest pressure, so he failed me and sent me in for an angiogram. I hate failing anything and actually spent about ten minutes trying to convince the nurse that if she looked at the results, I had in fact passed!
An angiogram is where they cut into an artery in your upper thigh and send a camera through your arteries to your heart to check for blockages. At least that is my understanding of the procedure. My doctor was convinced we would find blockage and he thought it might be major. My dad, as many of you know, died of a massive heart attack at the age of 57 in 1983. I am now 57, so I, too, was now convinced I had major blockage. Nothing positive ever comes from thinking negative, but I was now worried and believing the worst.
I nervously arrived at the hospital, worrying I may suffer a heart attack before I actually had the test. Arlene and my family were all praying for me, which gave me great comfort, but by now, I was convinced I was dying. (See what negative thinking can do?)
As I checked in at 6:30 AM Friday, I signed papers releasing the hospital of any responsibility and giving them permission to either do an angioplasty (a balloon that opens a slightly clogged artery), to put in a stint (to open an even more clogged a artery) or to perform bypass surgery if I was not repairable by the previous two methods. I signed all their forms and was taken to the waiting room where Arlene and I prayed. Arlene’s prayers always give me great comfort … then a nurse came to lead me into the preparation room. The nurses were wonderful, as was the entire staff at Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee.
To make this long story shorter, the wheeled me in and put me to sleep. The next thing I remember is a nurse with her mask on looking down at me and saying, “Do you want to see this?”
She directed my gaze over to a large monitor and there it was. She pointed out my heart and said, “It is remarkably strong and healthy for your age (I wondered how old she thought I was?)… and you have no blockage at all, anywhere!”
Coming from a family where a heart attack by the time you are in your mid fifties is the norm, I feel very blessed! Moving into 2012, I have much to be thankful for. And I should know better than thinking negatively about my health or anything else. Arlene and I are looking forward to an amazing 2012!
Speaking of 2012 … what are your plans? I truly believe life is a largely (but not completely) a series of self-professed prophecies turned reality. What we believe and say, our minds go to work to make so. So what are you saying about 2012? Are you predicting success and prosperity or doom and gloom? Are you looking forward to the best years of your life or bracing for the worst that is to come? Are you looking forward to good health and prosperity or are you anticipating the collapse of the economy and your coming old age? Are you waiting to see what happens or actively working to create the year you want it to be?
Imagine, design, predict and pursue the very best! I believe God wants the very best for us. However, in our humanness, we have trouble accepting that we are good enough, smart enough or deserve the best that can be in store for us. We must imagine a successful year then create the road map to the success you imagine and embrace it! I believe that the success and riches others enjoy are within your grasp. But what I think is not important. What you think and believe is everything. If you first believe … it is not only possible but probable when you set your mind on it.
I’ll write more on this tomorrow. I know these are hard concepts for some to believe. It is easier to believe in failure. It is more convenient to believe that success is not in your control but in the hands of others … but it is not true. Let me leave you with this success thought to think about between now and tomorrow.
“Other people will not hold you in a higher regard than you do. If you believe you are destined for success, others will too. If you believe you are a failure, others will join in that belief. To achieve your dreams, you often have to enlist the positive beliefs of others and if those people do not believe in you … because you do not believe in yourself … you will be unable to enlist them in your pursuits of success. Think about it between now and tomorrow.
For now, I wish you nothing but the greatest success and happiness in the coming year! Please be safe tonight and awake tomorrow believing you have entered the first day of the best year of your life! You first have to believe it to make it so. Success does not happen … it is caused. So I am praying that you cause the wild and crazy success you deserve in 2012!