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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Doing What Comes Naturally, Doing Our Best

Updated on March 3, 2016

Just an old rubber tree plantation

I reckon the trees are not as interesting as the two next to them.
I reckon the trees are not as interesting as the two next to them. | Source

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.

This one was taken in the comfort of my warm sleeping bag somewhere in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
This one was taken in the comfort of my warm sleeping bag somewhere in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. | Source

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

At the bottom of Casner Canyon near Sedona Arizona.
At the bottom of Casner Canyon near Sedona Arizona. | Source

What if?


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.


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Far as I know Frank if I did not believe in miracles I would not believe I am here walking around. Some of us only survive through grace. Thank you for your wonderful support.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      2 years ago from Shelton

      starting off your Sunday sermon to tell us that you believe in miracles.. hits hard to home... As always Eric I come away with a great deal when I sit and read your sermons bless you :)

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Right on Shaloo, where I come from it is often called "the doing of the thing". Meaning the thing is only a thing but the doing is the important stuff. Too many of us look to the goal instead of the process.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      2 years ago from India

      This reminds me of the timeless message from Bhagvad Gita: 'Karmanye vadhikarastu ma faleshu kadachana' which means 'Do your duty and be detached from its outcome, do not be driven by the end product, enjoy the process of getting there.'

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana. we just keep on keeping on and things will reveal themselves and work out in God's plan. Thank you for visiting.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      A tragic story with a beautiful ending. You must appeared as an angel when you held that man's hand during his ordeal. Thank God for you and your tender heart. A -near death experience- will open your eyes to things you take for granted everyday. I had a near death experience when I had an operation that went wrong. I went into Cardiac Arrest, when I lost too much blood. When I came back I also returned with an awakened spirit and it changed the course of my journey.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks much Devika, I was a little nervous writing it.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Well-told and you know how to tell a story.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Faith it is a blessing that we must acknowledge. We are given a grace that allows us to do our best. That is a gift. How cool is that? I get to try my hardest. That is by design and that is way cool.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      2 years ago from southern USA

      Dear Eric,

      Thank You for sharing about that terrible accident. I think you were right there at the right time to help save that man for some reason you may never know. You are certainly an earthly angel. You're so right long as we do our best then we can have that peace within ourselves. Our actions or non action in this life have chain reaction consequences so-to-speak. Thanks for keeping it real and reminding us the importance of always doing our best in love. Peace and blessings

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda, I think that the only significant words my mom and I spoke of after that night were: There but for the grace of God go I. Mom was a practical nurse. And I was the better driver at night. In fact sender her ahead worried me in the dark narrow twisty road.

      I get up in the morning just hardly waiting to see the plan unfold. He has never let me down.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill I just got great news. My cancer is taking a lullaby. So we are doing a little love dance around here. We do not know the master plan but so far we are pleased with it. Buddy, just no matter what else do your best to love your lady.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, I didn't think you could shine any brighter in my eyes, and then you tell this story.

      I don't know if I would have had the courage to face that situation as you did. To be with someone when they die is very significant--holding someone's hand as they pass from this life to the next....

      Consider this--if you and your mother had begun your journey just a few minutes sooner you would not have been at that time and place. God meant for you to be there, and He gave you the gifts/skills/resources you needed. So don't worry about what that man did with the remainder of his life. It's all a part of the plan.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Just got home from the other job. Goodness gracious, this old man is tired. Sorry I'm late to the show today.....doing what comes naturally? Today it's loving....wasn't always that way, buddy, but it's today that counts.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ed, you are a fine man for lifting me up so with your comments. It is a strange thing. I really really believe in an everlasting soul. So why to this day do I feel so sad when a life passes out of a body. I reckon we are hardwired (most of us) to want to preserve life. I did what needed to be done, you create beauty with your words. I wish I could be like Ed.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ms Dora, I just get a little charge when I do something the best I can do it. But a funny thing is that I get a little depressed when I slack off. I like to think that that is by design.

    • ahorseback profile image


      2 years ago

      As you know Eric , you were already my hero long before this ! But wow , what a message ! Your courage is amazing , having been as well in this kind of situation I know how long our memory can torment us , did we do enough , could we have done something else . Unlike in the movies , when someone dies near you it is a very sobering experience , As a fellow human being I am really proud to know you !.......Ed

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Denise I knew a man who just believed he could not do his best at anything. Wow what a concept. Because of my lifestyle I really try to do my best as Husband, father and friend. I must admit I do not try very hard at making money ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      One of my professors told me that God expects from me the best that I can do. If human beings are impressed and thank me, that's a bonus; that's not the reward. The reward is my satisfaction that I've done my best.

      Like the way you said it: "The best we can do is not to worry about outcome. But rather to do the best we can in any given situation."

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      You are so right, Eric! God is in control and the most important thing we can do is give it our best shot. No matter what, there will be times when we make mistakes. Thankfully, God is both forgiving and merciful! He helps all who turn to him, whether compelled to do so by circumstances or out of the goodness of their hearts.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby thank you very much. It is so nice of you to give me your uplifting feedback. At the time I had just finished up getting my first aid/life saving instructor certificate. It is funny but we like to say that there is nothing we can do about the past -- and yet the same basically holds true for the future also.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      You told the story of the automobile accident so well. I was almost there with you. You were able to provide a life saving service of which I have never done after 34 years of nursing. Bravo. Your description of your wife cracked me up. Funny! All we can do is go forward, looking back only rarely. We can't change yesterday, but we can do good today and tomorrow. I love your sermons, so honest. I like that. Thank you..

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Venkatachari, it is good to hear from you friend. Thank you for your encouragement.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Wonderful message. Try to do whatever best we can do. But not to worry about the outcome, because it is not in our hands. Only the doing part is ours. Not the result. That's a great sermon. Thanks for it.


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