This is a serious blog post. These are my conclusions after almost three months since I lay in the O.R. awaiting a risky major surgery in my mid-nineties. The weeks of recovery provided time to think deep thoughts. There was no guarantee that surgery would be successful, what quality of life lay ahead—or if there would be any earth-time left.
“God, You did everything You promised, and I’m thanking You with all my heart. You pulled me from the *brink of death, my feet from the cliff-edge of doom. Now I stroll at leisure with God in the sunlit fields of life.” (Selections from Psalm 56 and 103 MSG) *verge, edge, point, limit, boundary
Why should longer life matter any more? I have lived a full life with opportunities and fulfillments and achievements for God's Kingdom beyond my hopes and dreams. To finish my life-course now would be a crowning glory. I agreed, and would have been satisfied with a negative outcome. I knew the best was yet to come!
I can relate to the Apostle Paul when he expressed a similar dilemma. (Philippians 1:21-26) Also aged and in his final season of life, he weighed the better choice between leaving Planet Earth for heaven or continuing his arduous human struggle to spread God's Kingdom work. He realized the choice was not his but God's. He seemed to sense that the Lord would let him labor with joy awhile longer for the sake of people He could lead into Eternal Life and build up in their faith in Jesus Christ.
It turned out that he was spared, released from prison to continue his ministry to accomplish still more for God. However, if the history-timeline of Paul which I have seen is correct, it would be only a couple of months before his martyrdom. Nevertheless, the spiritual fruit he was able to offer God even in that short time was abundant and pleasing to the Lord and of everlasting value. His times and my times are in God's hands and perfect plan,
In my case, the high-risk surgery was successful beyond speculation. The Lord brought me through to a restoration, a “greening again” of some of my “earth suit” body parts, at least for a little while longer.
I find myself rejoicing with awe to have a new lease on life at a time when I am within sight of a century milestone. Since I have been navigating life in a longevity state for a long while already, I am cup-overflowing satisfied. But with Paul, however short this “eagle rejuvenation” period might turn out to be, (See my recent blog post “2020 Eagle Rejuvenation”). I am pondering seriously how to spend it wisely. I'm being renewed, (Psalm 103:5) “growing new eagle feathers” and gradually regaining strength. I've put aside my walker and cane and am learning to walk again independently.
In gratitude, how then should I live and serve God for “the rest of the way Home”? I have been asking Him to show me clearly what “thank-offering” I can offer Him. I want to complete all He has destined me to be and do on earth and finish well. My solemn question is, “What can I give [render] to the Lord [in return] For all His benefits toward me? [The Lord has been so good to me!] [How can I repay Him for pouring out on me such precious blessings?] [bountiful dealings] I'll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God!” (Psalm 116:12-14 AMP)
I want to give Him my “best wine saved until last” or the ripest of the fruit already touched with winter frost. To give Him not the first fruits but the fragrant harvest fruits of the gifts He gave me to benefit the precious people I have encounters with and over whom I have some kind of stewardship influence.
I can take my cue from Paul again. I do believe I am hearing God's answer: God would be most pleased if I continued to invest myself into people by means of a ministry gift the Apostle Paul called “prophecy.” (1 Cor. 12-14). Not in the sense of foretelling the future, but described in 14:3 as “edification, exhortation and consolation” [encouragement, strengthening and comfort]. Paul declared that all believers can and should prophesy. “Desire earnestly spiritual gifts but especially that you may prophesy. (14:1)
I have already understood this to be my main serving life-Gift to help build God's Kingdom. I have tried to carry out this ministry in various ways by my words spoken and words written, in books published. I sense the Lord's prodding to keep going in that direction—but not to run so fast. Not an easy limitation given my natural in-the-fast-lane temperament. “According to your days, so will your leisurely walk be.” (Deuteronomy 33:25 NASB) My “new normal” is to keep in step with Him, walk and not run, and to be “restfully available” to bless whomever He brings into my life. I guess that would be something like “strolling at leisure with God in the sunlit fields of life.” I like that prospect!
How does this translate into the daily fulfillment of my lifelong calling to serve God? My desire is to please the Lord by doing all the good I can, spiritual and tangible, by all the means with which He equips and gifts me, in all the places available to me, at all the times I can, “in season and out of season”, to all the people in my sphere of influence whom God impresses me, as long as ever I can for the rest of my mortal days. (Enhanced from John Wesley)
Doing good doesn't gain salvation, which is a gift by God's grace. My love for the Lord and sheer gratitude for the generous new measure of health, strength, wisdom and sound mind He has still given me in longevity is my sole motivation.
It would be great to have a peek in advance at the details of the Lord's plan for my remaining days. Well, I can only tell you what Jesus seems to be saying to me, “Leona, don't try to micro-manage or over-think! Trust Me and keep pace with Me. I'll open and shut the doors of opportunity and tell you which to enter—and it will be “all good!”
The Lord did give me some sage advice how to pray for the days ahead: “So teach me to number my days that I may apply my heart unto wisdom.” (Psalm 90:11) Other translations read: “count (or keep account of) our days; consider our mortality; spend our days as we should.” I think this version nails it: “Help us to remember that our days are numbered and help us interpret our lives correctly. Set your wisdom deeply in our hearts so that we may accept your correction.”
If you find me speeding again in the fast lane instead of the “new normal” of God's Paced Schedule (GPS) for me, pray for me to “accept God's correction” and navigate back to His direction and speed limit for my season of life. Thanks!
The Rest of The Way
POKING HOLES IN THE DARKNESS
6/3/2020 11:27:00 AM by: Leona Choy
ARE WE THERE YET?
5/31/2020 9:14:00 AM by: Leona Choy
NEW WINE-SKIN PEOPLE
5/30/2020 10:22:00 AM by: Leona Choy
EARTH SUIT vs SPACE SUIT: Increasing Tension
5/29/2020 3:50:00 PM by: Leona Choy
ONLY A CHAPTER
5/28/2020 6:17:00 PM by: Leona Choy
5/26/2020 7:21:00 PM by: Leona Choy
WEARY OR JUST TIRED?
5/24/2020 3:07:00 PM by: Leona Choy
WEARING PAJAMAS IN COMBAT?
5/22/2020 3:06:00 PM by: Leona Choy
RETHINKING THE PREPPER MINDSET
5/20/2020 5:44:00 PM by: Leona Choy
THE INTRIGUE OF ISOLATION
5/18/2020 3:08:00 PM by: Leona Choy
CONTEST OF THE CONDIMENTS
5/15/2020 3:41:00 PM by: Leona Choy
THOUGHTS FOR US “VULNERABLES”
5/13/2020 6:05:00 PM by: Leona Choy
WHO WANTS TO PLAY STATUE?
5/12/2020 10:42:00 PM by: Leona Choy
5/11/2020 9:17:00 PM by: Leona Choy
GIANTS IN OUR FAMILY TREE
5/8/2020 7:02:00 PM by: Leona Choy
WHAT ABOUT THOSE GRASSHOPPERS?
5/6/2020 3:17:00 PM by: Leona Choy
5/4/2020 6:23:00 PM by: Leona Choy
5/3/2020 6:02:00 PM by: Leona Choy
WRITE A TIME CAPSULE
5/1/2020 3:31:00 PM by: Leona Choy
4/30/2020 3:02:00 PM by: Leona Choy
4/29/2020 3:46:00 PM by: Leona Choy
4/28/2020 2:37:00 PM by: Leona Choy
MY SURVIVOR ASSIGNMENT
4/25/2020 3:36:00 PM by: Leona Choy
4/24/2020 3:33:00 PM by: Leona Choy
SURE, I'LL PRAY FOR YOU
4/23/2020 8:00:00 PM by: Leona Choy
MEANWHILE, WE GROAN
4/22/2020 3:50:00 PM by: Leona Choy
PARABLE OF THE DISORDERED EGG
4/20/2020 12:14:00 PM by: Leona choy
CHANTING THE PSALMS—A “JOYFUL NOISE”
4/19/2020 10:07:00 PM by: Leona Choy
OUR GREEN ROOM/GREENHOUSE
4/16/2020 10:41:00 PM by: Leona Choy
PSALMS IN COLOR
4/15/2020 5:49:00 PM by: Leona Choy
TV WATCH AND PRAY
4/14/2020 5:26:00 PM by: Leona Choy
JUST PASSING BY?
4/9/2020 3:08:00 PM by: Leona Choy
A SAFE PLACE ON THE ROCK
4/8/2020 5:09:00 PM by: Leona Choy
GETTING A GOOD SHAKING
4/7/2020 11:36:00 AM by: Leona Choy
THE UPSIDE OF DOWNTIME
4/6/2020 5:34:00 PM by: Leona Choy
ANNOUNCING! PANDEMIC READ-A-THON!
4/4/2020 8:14:00 PM by: Leona Choy
GOD'S OBSESSION WITH FRUIT
4/3/2020 5:09:00 PM by: Leona Choy
BLOOMING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
4/2/2020 6:04:00 PM by: Leona Choy
GRAY CLOUD FOLKS
4/1/2020 9:15:00 PM by: Leona Choy
END OF THE STORY
3/31/2020 8:46:00 PM by: Leona Choy
RAVENS DELIVERY SERVICE
3/30/2020 9:45:00 PM by: Leona Choy
3/29/2020 9:58:00 AM by: Leona Choy
A DESERT FABLE
3/28/2020 11:06:00 AM by: Leona Choy
A PERSONAL MESSAGE
3/27/2020 11:49:00 AM by: Leona Choy
SURFING THE PANDEMIC WAVES
3/25/2020 3:54:00 PM by: Leona Choy
HOW ARE YOUR “WITS” DOING?
3/24/2020 3:38:00 PM by: Leona Choy
3/23/2020 10:32:00 AM by: Leona Choy
HUNKERING AT EAGLE SUMMIT
3/21/2020 6:02:00 PM by: Leona Choy
3/21/2020 12:14:00 PM by: Leona Choy
A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE
3/20/2020 2:47:00 PM by: Leona Choy
HANDS ON THE PLOW
3/19/2020 3:27:00 PM by: Leona Choy
3/18/2020 11:59:00 AM by: Leona Choy
A NEW HAPPY DANCE
3/17/2020 10:20:00 AM by: Leona Choy
3/13/2020 12:36:00 PM by: Leona Choy
THE RELUCTANT PILGRIM
3/11/2020 6:47:00 PM by: Leona Choy
THE MYSTERIOUS "SELAH" WORD
3/9/2020 10:58:00 AM by: Leona Choy
MY CLAP OFFERING
3/8/2020 3:04:00 PM by: Leona Choy
ONE DOLLAR DAFFODIL
3/7/2020 1:11:00 PM by: Leona Choy
BOUND BY AN INVISIBLE THREAD
3/4/2020 9:43:00 PM by: Leona Choy
2/26/2020 12:15:00 PM by: Leona Choy
BEING OWLISH ABOUT WISDOM
2/24/2020 3:31:00 PM by: Leona Choy
"In the beginning..." before GOOGLE
2/22/2020 11:13:00 AM by: Leona Choy
PULLED FROM THE BRINK
2/20/2020 3:55:00 PM by: Leona Choy
APPLE OF HIS EYE
2/9/2020 12:01:00 PM by: Leona Choy
SINGING HER WAY HOME
1/31/2020 3:33:00 PM by: Leona Choy
1/24/2020 9:31:00 PM by: Leona Choy
PLATFORM, PODIUM, PULPIT OR PEDESTAL?
1/17/2020 1:01:00 PM by: Leona Choy
BUCKET LIST AGAIN?
1/12/2020 5:33:00 PM by: Leona Choy
IN SEARCH OF A MAKEOVER
12/31/2019 12:17:00 PM by: Leona Choy
12/30/2019 1:32:00 PM by: Leona Choy
THE MYSTERY OF TIME
12/28/2019 9:21:00 AM by: Leona Choy
2020 MY RENEWED EAGLE YEAR
12/26/2019 11:02:00 AM by: Leona Choy
Post Surgery Report
12/3/2019 3:30:00 PM by: Leona Choy
11/23/2019 8:49:00 PM by: Leona Choy
“You Have the Right to Remain Silent”
10/31/2019 2:38:00 PM by: Leona Choy
WHO IS SHAKING MY TREE?
10/30/2019 5:06:00 PM by: Leona Choy
WHO IS THE BOSS OF ME?
10/15/2019 10:37:00 AM by: Leona Choy
LORD, MOVE MY MOUNTAIN!
10/13/2019 3:11:00 PM by: Leona Choy
ANOTHER WAITING ROOM
10/11/2019 9:36:00 AM by: Leona Choy
DON'T BE SHEEPISH
10/10/2019 12:33:00 PM by: Leona Choy
THE VALUE OF SELF-TALK
9/28/2019 3:59:00 PM by: Leona Choy
9/27/2019 12:35:00 PM by: Leona Choy
THANKS FOR THE MEMORY
9/12/2019 1:39:00 PM by: Leona Choy
CARRY ME, FATHER
9/5/2019 3:11:00 PM by: Leona Choy
MY PERSONAL SPIRITUAL WORKOUT
9/4/2019 10:55:00 AM by: Leona Choy
PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS?
9/1/2019 12:08:00 PM by: Leona Choy
Lessons from My Cup
8/20/2019 3:33:00 PM by: Leona Choy
STRAW & THE CAMEL'S BACK
8/7/2019 12:38:00 PM by: Leona Choy
BECOMING MORE "FRUITY"
7/10/2019 5:17:00 PM by: Leona Choy
7/3/2019 2:27:00 PM by: Leona Choy
PITCHING IT RIGHT
6/30/2019 11:46:00 AM by: Leona Choy
“WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU GROW UP?”
6/25/2019 3:01:00 PM by: Leona Choy
34580 and COUNTING
6/18/2019 2:11:00 PM by: Leona Choy
MOUNTAINS AND MOLEHILLS
6/14/2019 9:54:00 AM by: Leona Choy
6/6/2019 9:52:00 AM by: Leona Choy
HANDS ON THE PLOW
5/22/2019 11:38:00 AM by: Leona Choy
WAITING FOR GRADUATION DAY
5/17/2019 3:46:00 PM by: Leona Choy
I THINK BOOKS
5/13/2019 12:06:00 PM by: Leona Choy
ONLY TALK WITH YOUR MOUTH FULL!
5/4/2019 8:35:00 PM by: Leona Choy
4/18/2019 12:47:00 PM by: Leona Choy
4/7/2019 1:47:00 PM by: Leona Choy
TOO MUCH ON MY PLATE?
3/31/2019 5:23:00 PM by: Leona Choy
EARTH SUIT vs SPACE SUIT: Increasing Tension
3/4/2019 3:37:00 PM by: Leona Choy
AVOIDING A SPIRITUAL "OOPS!"
3/1/2019 12:06:00 PM by: Leona Choy
2/19/2019 1:29:00 PM by: Leona Choy
A THORNY MATTER
2/15/2019 10:42:00 AM by: Leona Choy
A SOMEWHAT GRUMPY CHAT WITH GOD
2/12/2019 9:54:00 AM by: Leona Choy
A FISH STORY
2/8/2019 3:40:00 PM by: Leona Choy
LET'S EAT NOODLES TOGETHER!
1/21/2019 3:07:00 PM by: Leona Choy
SATISFIED--A SECRET TO SHARE
1/11/2019 7:22:00 PM by: Leona Choy
12/29/2018 7:22:00 PM by: Leona Choy
RESISTANCE TO ASSISTANCE
12/6/2018 5:17:00 PM by: Leona Choy
CHALLENGE OF THE FOURTH QUARTER
11/26/2018 3:19:00 PM by: Leona Choy
KEEPING A TRADITION
11/15/2018 9:14:00 AM by: Leona Choy
PUBLISHING FUND PROGRESS
11/5/2018 8:58:00 AM by: Leona Choy
"GOING STEADY" WITH MY "SUGAR CANE"
11/3/2018 2:02:00 PM by: Leona Choy
A SHOUT-OUT FOR A NEW BUTTERFLY
10/31/2018 3:24:00 PM by: Leona Choy
THANKSGIVING IN OCTOBER
10/7/2018 5:53:00 PM by: Leona Choy
9/30/2018 3:16:00 PM by: Leona Choy
SHINING WHEN YOUR BATTERY IS LOW
9/21/2018 5:32:00 PM by: Leona Choy
I DESERVE IT...DESERVE IT NOT....
9/13/2018 7:54:00 PM by: Leona Choy
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
9/10/2018 12:35:00 PM by: Leona Choy
WAITING FOR GOD'S DUE TIME
9/3/2018 7:29:00 PM by: Leona Choy
STONES AND COVERUPS AND HOLY EARS
8/31/2018 10:44:00 AM by: Leona Choy
IT'S ALL ABOUT SHOES
8/29/2018 9:30:00 AM by: Leona Choy
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS MY CELL TOWER
8/27/2018 3:47:00 PM by: Leona Choy
REJUVENATION GOD'S WAY
8/17/2018 8:49:00 AM by: Leona Choy
STUCK IN THE MUD?
8/13/2018 7:22:00 PM by: Leona Choy
TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR
8/8/2018 2:07:00 PM by: Leona Choy
WHEN'S A GOOD TIME TO "EXULT"?
7/30/2018 3:00:00 PM by: Leona Choy
Survey For the Calendar-Challenged
7/25/2018 2:42:00 PM by: Leona Choy
7/19/2018 10:25:00 AM by: Leona Choy
BEDROOM SLIPPERS OR HIKING BOOTS?
7/18/2018 10:44:00 AM by: Leona Choy
Hurrah for the Prepper Bridesmaids!
7/13/2018 6:01:00 PM by: Leona Choy
THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS?
7/10/2018 5:35:00 PM by: Leona Choy
6/5/2018 2:01:00 PM by: Leona Choy