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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Doing What Comes Naturally, Doing Our Best
Just an old rubber tree plantation
A short story
Folk tell me I died once, I must have been asleep because I missed the whole thing. Something to do with my heart stopping and them restarting it. It was connected to some chemotherapy that went wrong. No I did not see anything, I was not hovering over the hospital bed and God did not make an appearance. All rather ho hum.
There was a bad accident once that my mom and I had witnessed. A car ran straight into a tree and cliff wall bordering the highway. No cell phones back then so I jumped out of the car and mom went ahead to phone in the accident.
A bit past 40 years later it is still tough to talk about. So I don’t. When you watch a man ready for death it takes on a different character than reality. When you go about saving him it takes on a more ethereal place in that space in your mind. Watching a man die close enough to hold his hand is just plain damned hard. Two men inside in the front seat. A branch from that tree went right through the windshield and then through the chest of the passenger. He was still alive when I got to him. And that life lasted a good two minutes longer with nothing I could do and he was already unconscious. So onto the driver who had been thrown from the car. Back in those days seatbelts were totally optional and most did not use them. This guy was a mess. And the worst of it was a cut femoral artery and there was only one thing I could do and that was to reach in with both hands and squeeze it off and then tie it shut. So much for the man’s leg. He was conscious but not of right mind. His breathing was labored but steady. He would be in total shock in just a minute or so. I don’t know how the man remained conscious. He had a gash on his head the size of a table knife. Direct pressure did the trick to stop the bleeding. So I fashioned a compression bandage out of my shirt and then set the man in an appropriate position.
Thank goodness I could hear the sirens of the ambulance and a state trooper coming. I was played out. And just about then the man stopped breathing. CPR is not a pleasant thing to do and with his head gash not good to lay him flat and push on his chest. But I had no choice but to start. Maybe if I could keep what little blood he had left flowing the ambulance could pick it up from there. Poor bastard.
The EMT and trooper were right there and I was relieved of my duties. My mom pulled up and there was nothing to do but get in the car, sans shirt, and head home and get washed up. We rode home in silence. And I knew that sleep time would bring nightmares. But that is life. I hoped that man made it through to have a long life after that night. Since we did not hang around I had no idea who he was or who the dead guy was.
Through my mom’s contacts at our hospital she found out that the man made it including his leg. Miracles happen every day.
What joy early morning is.
Just a great story apropos of nothing
Just doing our best.
One day I heard a radio account of a man who had killed his wife and two kids and all of the sudden out of the blue it hit me that that could have been the man who had lived. What a strange thought but what if? Just say you help someone out with a problem and your solution allows the person to keep on with their life. And then they do something horrendous. In the great tabulations of rights and wrongs in your life. Did you do a good thing or a bad thing? Just thinking about it makes you want to stay all cloistered and not get involved with strangers. How come that does not keep us from helping strangers?
And that brings us to the point of today’s sermon. We are not in control of all things. When it comes right down to it the only thing we can control is ourselves. Oh do not go all wonkers on me – yes my wife controls me and I control our young son. But only to the extent we allow. We in fact are in control of how much others control us, and don’t you forget that fact. Destiny and fate are not within our control. Maybe if we knew in advance we could change it but alas that is not a normal reality. It is my sincere hope that you are happy and in love. It is not really important what or who you are in love with, but I hope it brings you happiness as it does me. That relates to a simple truth. If you are happy and in love where you are at then everything that got you there is worth having experienced. If you were to ask me if I regret certain things that I have done I would have to look at my children. They are the essence of perfection. If I changed one little mistake I made they would not be who they are. Life would have changed.
Just assume that you are almost perfect. That you can control most things around you and do it well. Oops but you control things. Do not control your relationships that changes the people you control. That is bad joo joo. My wife is just a blast. She stands at about 4’10” and weighs 89 lbs soaking wet with all her clothes on. She is an eminent force to be reckoned with and constantly directs large construction crews with aplomb and dictatorship. Then she brings it home to me. Fair enough. She barks out commands like a 3 star general in the corps. She is passionate about what she wants done. Good for her. We even follow some of the commands. If she saw us following every one she would be discontent with our backbones. Life in love works out great.
Just an old Piute cross
So here we go with the sermonizing. We do the best we can. And that is what we should do. The best we can do is not to worry about outcome. But rather to do the best we can in any given situation. Let me tell you friends of mine, I have blown it big time in life’s theatre. But I always tried. Failure and success are such fickle beasts. But my heart and soul beat to the rhythm of life. I got the juice. And so do you. The concept being that you give it your best shot and keep giving it your best shot. My efforts, if I look at results are not all that great. My efforts if you look at the broad spectrum of life have yielded happiness, contentment, joy, peace and love. A darned rocky road but a lot more interesting than a freeway.
Now do this my friends. Go make a difference. Go love life. You might just blow it but in reality you will never know the result.