Going Fishing Last evening Connie and I attended our local county fair. As we were sitting at one of the church food booths eating lunch, a man whom we had graduated from high school with came up to us and we renewed acquaintances. I noticed that the gentleman had a different countenance than the last time we spoke. He talked about his young son who was with him and what was going on in his life. We also reflected on classmates we had been in contact with and of those, who had passed away. We spoke about one classmate in particular that was undergoing a bout with depression. Then he began to speak about his daughter who had been tragically killed in a single car accident some two - three years previous. He said he didn`t feel he had ever been depressed and that several times medication had been recommended but he had disdained it. He said he just felt sad and would probably continue to be sad every day for the rest of his life. His statement caused me suddenly to think of the experiences of another good friend of mine.Two years ago my friend was telling me of the problems he was having with his back. He told of how when he went to work and he bent over the operative chair he experienced pain in the middle of his back. The pain would not go away even with relatively strong analgesics. He sought continued medical care and was diagnosed with nerve damage in his back and underwent surgery. But he still received no relief. Finally he visited a physician who diagnosed him with inoperable lung cancer. It was a tragic blow. He underwent several bouts of treatment to reduce the size of the tumor, each uncomfortable and each causing several days of illness.During these treatments my friend lifted himself above what was going on in his life with the support of family and focus. He, along with some other friends and myself, planned a fishing expedition to Brazil to fish for Peacock Bass. Whenever we would have a conversation, this expedition would end up being the topic. Even when things were really tough and we were trying to figure out how to handle his practice and patients our conversations would turn to the thrill of seeing a Peacock Bass furiously attack a top water plug and dance across the water on its tail when the hook was set.Well, he went fishing eighteen months later. Not long ago, after having several good reports and returning to work, it was discovered that the tumor was in his spine. The doctors operated and removed several vertebrae placing metal and pins to hold his spinal column together and fusing many of the vertebrae in the upper back and neck. I spoke to him the day prior to his first of two eight hour plus surgeries. The last comment he made to me on that day was that he had his eight hundred dollar deposit down on our next trip to Brazil in November 2001. At the conversation following his first surgery, while still somewhat under the effects of the medications, he reminded me of the tremendous fishing we would have on our next trip.Two different people, two totally different scenarios, two different outlooks one neither right nor the other wrong. Two people dealing with what is going on in their lives in ways that make them able to wake up in the morning and face another day. They are each choosing how to approach the dawn of the coming morning.We each know stories such as these or have experienced the same pain of loss or dramatic uncertainty of the future ourselves. How do you deal with the situations that are placed in front of you that appear overwhelming? We may feel out of control, and we are to the extent we do not control what each day will bring. But we have learned or will learn how we will choose to deal with what that day brings. Possibilities: As you approach each day, take stock of what blessings have been given you. Reflect on how quickly situations can change. Choose to be thankful.Find someone you know who has experienced a change in their lives that has caused pain and/or uncertainty. Let them know you care.Use experiences to learn and grow. Do not let experiences, good or bad, become your anchor.I am thankful everyday that I awaken, can have my quiet time, reflect on the experiences of the past day and wonder at what the coming one will bring. To often I take for granted those around me and/or feel that I can control my situation. Every time I feel that way, I am quickly humbled when I truly look around at what is really happening to myself and to others I care about. I know one thing for certain and that is the seas will not always be smooth. (John 6:18-19) LarryTo: DC. I look forward to the next time we "tee it up." I may out-drive you on the golf course. But I will never "measure up" to the distance you have come.To: JS. Looking forward to "wetting a line and catching the Big One." To: Any and all that are experiencing loss, healing or uncertainty. Faith & Courage!