The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Enid Features

April 9, 2013

Do you have determination?

How determined are you? Think about it.

We are where our thoughts are. We are today where our thoughts have brought us. We will be tomorrow where our thoughts take us. We cannot escape the results and power of thoughts. We can endure and learn, accept and be glad. We will realize the vision of our hearts, whether beautiful or bleak or a mixture of both. We will always gravitate toward what we secretly want. In our hands is placed the result of our thoughts. We will become as small or as great as our thoughts and determination.

I am writing this as a direct result of being with Jim during his recent illness. He was, and is, so determined to overcome any illness and be well. Only one time did he get down while he was in the hospital, and that lasted only about 30 minutes until we talked it over and prayed about it. He was better and on his way to recovery the very next morning, and is home now recovering and determined to do his exercises and get his strength back.

While in the hospital, we (Jim and I too) had wonderful care. Every need was met. I was able to stay every night in his room in my own bed provided for me. I was given a comp meal three times a day, and ice cream or a snack every night. I lived like I was at a fancy spa/hotel and I am grateful I could help in his recovery.

Jim was treated with every respect and helpful care. Never once was anyone snappy or disgusted that he required so much care with bathing, dressing or walking. He was treated like a king by the entire staff. We were given progress reports daily (and sometimes twice a day) by his physicians. We are so grateful and blessed by his care.

But Jim had to be the one who was determined to get well. Modern medicine and great doctors and nurses can do only so much and then the person himself/herself has to be responsible. Jim gave 150 percent to his recovery. He was courageous and persistent because he wanted to get well and come home.

Jim recalled during his time on Iwo Jima, when his buddies were being shot and killed all around him, that those who were determined to live usually did. And some who had superficial wounds died, because they believed they would. They gave up their fight and determination.

There are exceptions of course, as things don’t always go by plan, but in a few cases, the wounded just gave in and gave up. Jim felt that since he was spared, that he had work to perform and unfinished business to attend to.

All the world’s great achievements are a result of faith and determination. Doubt always limits. Most thought that the Earth was flat, but Columbus believed it was round, and the history of civilization was changed because of his determination and faith. Lindbergh could never have made the flight across the Atlantic on doubt. He had determination and will, and he believed in the material used in building his plane, belief in the men who built it and courage. He had faith that the God of the universe would sustain the orderly processes of nature.

My elder sister wrote in an email to me this week, “If you don’t give up, you haven’t lost.” We have all tried to keep Jim encouraged and pumped up. Marjorie reminded me of a race she won once. When the race started, she started slowly and continued at a steady, constant pace to the finish line. She got the trophy in her age (older) group for being the only person who finished the course. The others gave out before they finished because they failed to think positive and pace themselves.

When Jim was going four times a week to his physical rehab, Jane always reminded him to “Pace, don’t race!” Be determined, don’t despair, dig in, but don’t desert. Stay the course! That is good advice for all of us, not just those who are ill.

John Greenleaf Whittier wrote “Eternal Goodness” with these encouraging words:

“I know not what the future hath of marvel or surprise,

“Assured alone that life and death His mercy underlies.

“And if my heart and flesh are weak to bear an untried pain,

“The bruised reed He will not break but strengthen and sustain.

“I know not where his islands lift their fronded palms in air;

“I only know I cannot drift beyond His love and care.

“And Thou, O Lord, by whom are seen Thy creatures as they be,

“Forgive me if too close I lean my human heart on Thee!”

That is what determination is all about. That is what faith is all about. That is how one gets better and better.

I have not had much time to do any cooking lately, but I am determined to get back into the swing of things. I tried this recipe and it is wonderful. All it needs to go with it is a simple meat, like a braised pork chop, a dish of sliced peaches, and dinner is ready.

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